Vol 16, No 2 (2016)

Cover Page

Full Issue

Theory, Methodology and History of Sociological Research

The perception of security in the international comparative perspective

Díez-Nicolás J.


The author considers security a key value in present societies all around the world due to the general change in values since the end of the 20th century, which is characterized by a certain return to more materialistic values and a reduction of personal and economic security under the globalization. The article provides two different but complementary theoretical frameworks for the sociological study of security. The first theoretical frame was developed in the late 1970’s as a reaction to the excessive optimism generated by the high levels and rates of economic development during the previous years. Within this conceptual frame the author groups 59 countries into seven geo-cultural world regions, and identifies the change in values not only as a reduction of post-materialist values, but also as an increase in desires for greater authority in the future, particularly in more developed societies. In the second theoretical scheme all forms of social organization (political, economic, family, educational, etc.) including value systems, are instruments of adaptation of human societies to their environment. Thus, the main hypothesis here is that values change because of the levels of security in society, both personal and economic security: as security levels rise or decline, values change. The author considers both theoretically and empirically four indexes of security - personal, community, national and total. According to the European surveys data, developed countries seem to feel subjectively more secure than less developed countries, but variation even among countries within the same world geo-cultural region is very wide. On the basis of three sets of variables used to explain the four indexes of security (socio-demographic, attitudinal, national defence and a combination of the previous three) the author shows that the combined set seems to be the most robust to explain all four indexes of security. However, there is a great variation in the levels of the four types of security among the seven geo-cultural world regions, and among the countries within each region. This implies that the country continues to be the most important unit of analysis in international comparisons, which should take into account both subjective and objective measures of security.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):219-257
pages 219-257 views

Life trajectory as a process of identity formation: The potential of narrative analysis

Pavlenko E.S.


In the contemporary highly differentiated society, culture and the symbolic processes within it are becoming increasingly important. The strengthening of symbolic mechanisms effect is obvious in many social phenomena, in particular in the transition to adulthood. The process of growing up and becoming an adult, as well as the image of adulthood itself, are transforming, which demands that social researchers seek for new conceptual resources for understanding the new nuances of the transition to adulthood in the contemporary society. Cultural psychology has developed the categorical apparatus that is quite sensitive to the symbolic processes within the personality development in the course of transition to adulthood. Cultural psychologists believe that every life trajectory as a process of personal identity development should be studied as determined by narratives and narration. However, despite the claim and intention to develop an approach that would take into account social factors (such as community influence, role of collective practices, and dominant social representations of adulthood) in fact, cultural psychologists prefer to conceptualize the nowadays social reality as reduced to the political and ideological discourses. Thus, cultural sociology can provide theoretical means for analyzing narratives of transition to adulthood as mainly collective processes, therefore discovering the symbolic mechanisms of transition to adulthood through life stories. With cultural sociology as a conceptual background for the development of appropriate tools for youth studies in sociology, there is a quite new research agenda, which consists of discovering genres and categorical repertoire of becoming an adult in narratives of the younger people. This can lead to the sociological reconstruction of categories that create the meaningful space of coming of age, from which young people draw resources to create meaningful narratives about their life trajectories in the past and future.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):258-269
pages 258-269 views

Sociological analysis of the media consumption practices: Types and methods of the empirical study

Ilmukhin V.N.


In the contemporary society, the media form an essential part of social life and play an important part in the everyday life taking up a huge amount of time, although being a part of many other routine practices. Such a fundamental role of media in the nowadays individual and social practices could not but attract the attention of a wide variety of disciplinary fields including social scientists, who aim to develop new conceptual models and methodological approaches for the study of media consumption and to identify the prospects for the future use of media by different socio-demographic groups. The author believes that in the field of communication studies the methods for analyzing audience preferences and behavior would solve the most important problems of sociology of mass media, because they are based on the combination of different analytical approaches, types of research and methodological solutions - both quantitative assessment of media consumption practices and “qualitative” description of sustainable media consumption patterns. Undoubtedly, with the development of the media industry the customers’ needs and research objectives are changing and accordingly transforming sociological approaches and methods, which led to the saturation of sociology of mass media with the huge number of various methodological approaches and technical solutions for the audience media consumption practices. The article identifies key advantages and limitations of basic methodological approaches and technical solutions of the media consumption studies with reference to television, radio, press and the Internet; provides examples of the use of these methods and approaches in Russia; considers trends of the further development of media studies based on the interpretation of media consumption as a complex set of social practices.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):270-284
pages 270-284 views

Contemporary society: the urgent issues and prospects for development

Family values in the world religious confessions and their influence on the Russian family

Tarasova E.O.


The article considers family values from the standpoint of traditional religious confessions, the cultural-forming factors within the country, and the external values’ influence that affect the population worldview. The author believes that the problems relevant to the contemporary European family are partly typical for the Russian family or will become such in the near future. However, due to the peculiarities of culture and religious history of Russia, which formed a specific type of general worldview, not all Western values become an essential part of Russian culture, in particular those related to the family, marriage, and marital relations. The article considers the nature of the influence of both European and Oriental cultures on the Russian family values and the prospects for their future. The author conducts a comparative analysis of the trends in the perception of the family and family values in the main religious confessions present in Russia and in the neighboring countries. The article also presents the results of the sociological studies of the Russian youth structure of values, including the author’s research in the Perm region in 2014. The article presents an attempt to analyze the influence of religious beliefs on the value orientations of the contemporary society and the culture, and to predict their future.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):312-322
pages 312-322 views

Sociological assessment of the changes in the development of family institution in China as an object of state policy

Minyazhev T.R., Wei Ruozhu -.


The article identifies the potential of the sociological assessment as a means of management and evaluation of the state family policy results on the example of the People’s Republic of China (hereinafter - China). The authors conducted a comprehensive analysis of the changes occurring in the development of the family institution in China on the basis of objective and subjective indicators, which can be considered a testing of the research methodology for the state family policy as a sustainable institutional phenomenon in the contemporary densely populated countries, which still lacks scientific studies at both theoretical and empirical levels. Based on their own research tool the authors schematically reconstruct the empirically confirmed results and consequences of the state family policy in China and its impact on the transformation of the Chinese family as a social institution. The results of the empirical study confirm the obviously positive changes in the Chinese family under the implemented family policy and at the same time reveal some negative aspects of the state family and demographic policy, which point to the underestimation of the state family policy potential. The authors want to show this potential on the basis of their empirical data, and claim that management of the state family policy should use sociological assessment tools to improve its social efficiency.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):304-311
pages 304-311 views

Legal socialization of the youth under the crisis conditions of the contemporary Russian society

Samygin P.S., Popov M.Y., Samygin S.I.


В статье рассматривается особенности правовой социализации молодежи в современном российском обществе, специфические функции основных институтов правовой социализации, и среди них, в первую очередь, семья, образование (среднее и высшее) и средства массовой информации. Авторы определяют правовую социализацию как аспект общего процесса социализации; поэтому он находится под сильным влиянием социальных (трансформации) процессов, в частности кризиса отрицательным характером. Молодежь является наиболее чувствительной к социальным изменениям демографической группы, поэтому его основные черты сегодня являются социальная дезориентация и психологическая путаница при нестабильной и противоречивой социальной ситуации. В статье рассмотрены различные аспекты правовой социализации - его типы (социально контролируемых / регулируемых и спонтанное), определяющие факторы (например, состояние общества - стабильной или, наоборот, кризис), возможных исходов (положительных, таких как компетентный юридический сознание, а отрицательные - устойчивые провинившиеся практики) и т.д. авторы считают, что эффективная правовая социализация в условиях кризиса современного российского общества может быть достигнута путем координации усилий всех основных институтов правовой социализации в системе образования, так как молодое поколение позитивно воспринимают закон и другие элементы правовой системы.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):295-303
pages 295-303 views

Risk factors in the development of childhood in contemporary Russia

Dementieva I.F.


The article considers the most significant risk factors for the development of childhood under the contemporary conditions of the Russian family functioning. The specifics of the Russian society is determined by the implementation of fundamental social and economic reforms in the country in the last decades. The article provides a comprehensive analysis of key risk factors and defines possible negative consequences of their impact on the children personal development. Based on statistics and international legislation the article examines the issue of children protection from various forms of domestic violence. The demographic risk factors are considered from the perspective of raising a child in a one-child family, in the situation of childbirth out of wedlock and after the divorce, or the child’s health problems and the lack of conditions for its improvement. The author believes that the low quality of life is an important factor for the childhood risks development for it limits cognitive and physiological needs of the child. The article also points to the connection of the parents’ authority with their professional occupation and unemployment. Thus, the author comes to the following conclusions: childhood development is inevitably linked with the acquisition of life experience of overcoming risk situations; the family strategy to protection the child from all dangerous contacts is pedagogically unjustified and hinders the socialization process. In order to achieve positive results in overcoming the childhood risks, it is necessary to increase the educational competence of parents in the prevention of possible risks. The task of the family is not to isolate the child from the risks, but to teach the child to overcome them.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):285-294
pages 285-294 views

Gender inequality indices for the European partnership countries comparison

Kharchenko E.I.


Overcoming gender inequality is a serious challenge for many countries all over the world. Different reforms aiming at reduction of gender inequality are often a necessary condition for joining international alliances and associations. The article presents an example of comparative analysis of gender statuses in European partnership countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Russian Federation (1) on the one hand, and Iceland - on the other hand due to the latter leading position in the Global Gender Gap ranking. This ranking as well as the results of the comparative analysis can be useful for lecturers in the courses on gender inequality, international comparative studies and others. The author provides a definition of the concept “gender inequality”, an overview of existing methodological approaches to the international gender inequality measurement and interpretation. Based on the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) author describes men and women positions in the countries mentioned above in such socially important fields as politics, economy, education, and life expectancy; provides her own explanations of the current situation and perspectives for its development. The study shows that for all the countries under consideration the most problematic are (1) political sphere in the terms of women’s empowerment and (2) the sphere of healthcare from the point of quality and duration of men’s lives. The most unproblematic field from the comparative gender analysis point of view is educational sphere. According to the results of the comparative analysis, the most egalitarian country seems to be Moldova, while the least egalitarian - Azerbaijan. This article is based on the data of the International project ReSET «European visions and divisions: comparative studies in improving of teaching sociology” (supported by OSI HESP in 2010-2012).

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):323-336
pages 323-336 views

Surveys, experiments, case studies

Gender identity construction in virtual political communication: Discourse strategies and self-representation practices in social networks

Maximova O.B.


The article considers the specifics of gender construction in political virtual communication. The author employs the discursive approach combined with the content analysis to study gender communicative strategies and self-representation practices in social networks. Facebook postings within a viral flash-mob “The Island of the‘90’s” provided the data for the study, and the article explains the rationale for their attribution to political communication. The analysis based on the cognitive model of discourse revealed the three-level structure of flash-mob discourse that reflects different levels of publications involvement into the political context. The comparative analysis of male and female participation in the development of flash-mob discourse helped to identify a pronounced gender asymmetry in both flash-mob discourse structure and its structural levels. The content analysis showed no signs of gender differences disappearance, traditional gender-role patterns weakening or androgyne model manifestation. The results lead to the conclusion that women seem to be more flexible in their representation strategies, and women’s participation in the discourse has less degree of political involvement at all structural levels. The author highlights the theoretical importance of the Internet flash-mob investigation methodology development for the study of virtual political communication.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):403-417
pages 403-417 views

Resources of the workers of small and medium business and their well-being in the labor market

Chilipenok Y.Y., Osipova O.S.


The article presents the results of the study aimed to describe the employee of small and medium business as a subject of the contemporary Russian social and labor relations in terms of his resource endowments. From the theoretical point of view, the study was conducted within the resource-based approach: the main resources of small and medium business employees, their behavior in the labor market as depending on the resource supply were analyzed on the data of the Russian monitoring of the economic situation and the health of the population (RLMS) of the National Research University “Higher School of Economics”. The employees’ well-being in the labor market was measured by the fear to lose one’s jobs, and confidence in the ability and the desire to find a new job. Based on the empirical data the authors identify average, normal levels of resource endowments, and the features of the subject of social and labor relations in the light of particular levels of different resources supply. The authors note the low economic security of small and medium business employees as a reason for the financial factor to have a decisive influence on the behavior of this category of workers in the labor market. There also conclusions about the importance of information and innovative resource and workers’ health to realize their independent position in the labor market and get ready for the labor mobility.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):386-402
pages 386-402 views

Assessment of the regional executive power reputation (on the example of the Smolensk region)

Rozanova N.N.


With the development of information society, intangible assets are increasingly becoming a significant competitive advantage. At the regional level, the reputational capital turns into a powerful tool to improve the region’s investment attractiveness. The most important component of the regional reputational capital is such a significant political resource as the reputation of the regional authorities: good reputation can and should be a key intangible asset of regional management system development aiming to strengthen the authorities decisions and actions and the public confidence, and to mobilize citizens for the real interested participation in the regional management. The article presents the results of testing the research phase of the technological cycle of the regional power reputation management, which was conducted to identify its key essential characteristics and ways for evaluation. The author proposes a research model to study the regional authorities’ reputation and defines the logic of its perception study in terms of two main subjects - the authorities and the population. The results of the assessment of the regional authorities reputation on the example of the Smolensk region let the author examine the coherence of the regional authorities reputation estimates by the public and the authorities themselves (civil servants of the regional executive power) and identify a significant gap in the assessments of this reputation by the population as compared to the civil servants opinions.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):359-374
pages 359-374 views

Civil and ethnic identities as markers of inter-ethnic relations in the Russian border regions

Maximova S.G., Morkovkina A.G.


The article presents the results of the study of civil and ethnic identities and the sphere of interethnic relations in eight Russian regions located near the state borders: the Altai region, Amur region, Jewish Autonomous region, Trans-Baikal region, Kemerovo region, Omsk region, Orenburg region, and the Altai Republic. The authors conducted a survey to gather empirical data and identify the priority of civic identity for the residents of border regions of Russia, and the dominant grounds of civil and ethnic identities. The results of the survey show significant regional differences in the level of different identities manifestation: the highest degree of identification with the civil and ethnic communities is typical for the Kemerovo region, the lowest - for the Trans-Baikal region. The authors assess the characteristics of inter-ethnic relations, and make conclusions about their dynamics and the level of inter-ethnic tension in each region: the most problematic regions in this respect are the Trans-Baikal region and Omsk region. The study identified a number of facts, which require further scientific interpretation, for example, in some regions there are statistically significant proportions of the population with a very low level of national-state identification.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):347-358
pages 347-358 views

Measurements of the Russian identity: Sociological assessments and humanitarian expertise

Onosov A.A., Gasparishvili A.T.


Within the framework of the existing scientific approaches, the authors consider the process of ethnization of the Russians’ mass consciousness under the expanding internal and external labor migration in Russia. The article presents the results of the situational analysis and humanitarian expertise of the set of key challenges determined by the migration. Based on the statistics, opinion polls data and expert assessments the article describes the empirical model of the identity of ethnic Russian population of Moscow and the Moscow region as the major centers of attraction for international migrants. The comprehensive analysis of the issues and controversies of the labor migration in the region and relationships of ethnic groups living in the region is preceded by the description of the identity of native inhabitants of the region as perceived by the ethnic Russian population. To measure the identity for the axiological ranking the authors use a number of relatively independent variables besides ethnic (national) identity: religious involvement, civilizational orientation, cultural, professional, territorial and other important features. Thus, the authors present a multi-dimensional space of identity, in which each dimension has its specific meaning for personal self-identification and its own scale for assessing particular attributes.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):336-346
pages 336-346 views

Few words on the high level of social distrust among the Russian youth: Civil servants’ social image

Trotsuk I.V., Ivlev E.A.


Based on the empirical data of the repeated surveys conducted by the Sociological Laboratory of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, the authors consider the student youth typical answers to quite simple questions on the political interest and awareness as well as on the level of social trust in the most general interpretation of the term. According to the surveys data, since 2007 we cannot identify the students’ value orientations as political apathy (which is typical for the Russian media), political unawareness or electoral ignorance. Moreover, the Moscow student youth consider themselves patriots and identify as grounds for their national pride the historical past, natural resources, cultural heritage and sports achievements, though not the development of the economic and social spheres, respect for human rights and freedoms, activities of the public authorities, and general standards of living. The authors believe that such pessimistic evaluation of the situation in the country is connected (if not determined) by the low level of social trust (or high level of social distrust), especially to the public administration and the officials of all kinds in general. The authors conducted an exploratory online opinion poll to reconstruct the social image of the civil servant in the Russian public opinion to explain the low level of social trust in the society and the stable proportion of young respondents claiming that the Russian state represents and defends the interests of the rich and the civil servants. The questionnaire consisted of the questions on the obligatory ethical principles that should be guiding for all state/municipal employees, on the grounds for considering the behavior of civil servants as unethical, on the requirements to the applicants for the public administration positions, on the appropriate ways to deal with cases of unethical behavior in the public administration bodies, on the social image of the civil servant and its determinants, etc. Although the youngest group (18-24-year-olds) proved to be the most optimistic one, it also easily reconstructs the negative image of the civil servant, who does not meet the professional and ethical requirements to this social-professional group, which does not consist of the most intelligent, talented and competent people in the country, not to mention the most honest, conscientious and descent ones.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):375-385
pages 375-385 views

Sociology of management

Main areas for the sociological support of organizational risks diagnostics and prevention in the internal affairs bodies

Dzhanteev T.H.


The article considers the use of theoretical and applied sociological studies to identify and prevent negative consequences of the organizational risks in the internal affairs bodies, such as: insufficient quality of the organizational structure; failures in the design of organizational structures; poor coordination and regulation; inconsistency of resources provision; mistakes in the selection and placement of personnel; shortcomings in the organization of interaction with the public; incorrect definition of the needs of citizens in the field of law enforcement; poor quality of law enforcement services; inadequate training of personnel for the interaction with citizens. The author describes the role of the sociological support in the diagnostics of organizational risks, and pays particular attention to the factors contributing to the occurrence of undesirable situations and to the cause-and-effect relationships between various events associated with the risks. The article emphasizes the exceptional importance of forecasting negative consequences of risk situations and developing measures to minimize negative effects of organizational risks in law enforcement in general and in the internal affairs bodies in particular.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):418-425
pages 418-425 views

Sociological lectures

The state in the Eurasian doctrine

Lebedev S.N., Zamaraeva E.I.


The article considers the role of the state in the Eurasian doctrine, one of the most distinctive and significant movements of the Russian sociological and political-philosophical thought abroad in the 1920-1930’s. The issues addressed by the Eurasians are still relevant under the current epoch of the new Russian statehood construction and to a certain extent are implemented in the contemporary political practice. According to the classical Eurasian doctrine, all nations of “Russia-Eurasia” are united by the “place of development” and constitute a single historical and socio-cultural world, which organically combines elements of the East and the West. The Eurasian doctrine of the state proclaims the idea of strong government and powerful state, which represents the interests of the people and maintains direct connections with its citizens by combining the law and justice principles with the norms of morality, welfare and conscience. The article examines the key Eurasian concept “ideocratic state” and the essential characteristics of the Eurasian concept of the state system, such as ideocracy, autarchy, idea-ruler, and ruling selection. The key state-forming concept is “Pan-Eurasian nationalism” interpreted by the Eurasians as an archetype of ideology, a basis of the national idea. The authors consider basic principles of the socio-economic structure of the Eurasian state, including active participation of the state in the economic life of the country, the coexistence of public and private properties. According to the Eurasian doctrine, the state-planned economy and the state regulation of culture form the foundations of autarchic states that protect the country from economic and humanitarian intervention. The authors come to the conclusion that Eurasian theory of the state can significantly enrich nowadays scientific theory and help to solve the tasks of modernization of the Russian society at the present stage for it takes into account specific national, geopolitical, historical, and cultural characteristics of our state and allows to preserve the identity and diversity of the Eurasian world.

RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):426-437
pages 426-437 views


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RUDN Journal of Sociology. 2016;16(2):449-451
pages 449-451 views

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