Человек обыкновенный в двух состояниях
Опубликовано на портале: 04-10-2006
Вестник общественного мнения: Данные. Анализ. Дискуссии. 2005. № 1 (75). С. 9-19.
A person usually perceives social distance in terms of "close" and "distant". A person's withdrawing into his own "small" world is an important prerequisite both for his coping with social reality and for immersing himself in his own affairs and interests.
During recent months, especially in convulsive political rhetoric after the events in Beslan (September 2004), variations of enemy image have acquired allegedly new meanings: as if after rather long, more than fifty years long intermission the issues of "a world plot" against our country, inner enemies, "traitors of Russia" have come to the surface of official life. This theme of "a world plot" is close for the most part to the elder age people of the "Soviet" training. Appeals for holding out against "a world plot" are evidently aimed not at the victory over enemy but at domestic consumption, at social mobilization for the sake of achieving some intra-political or even intra-clan objectives.
The processes of transition from an agitated state of society to a usual one may be characterized as rutinization. The structure of these processes suggests re-evaluation of both pragmatic expectations and symbolic vestments of social action. Rutinization of the Soviet order led finally not to its stabilization but to weakening its foundations and further collapse. Both M.Gorbachyov's rule and B.Yeltsin's Presidency have brought about not rutinization but crises which were followed by changes in regimes types and in composition of ruling elites. Under the present conditions rutinization trends are combined with crisis turns in domestic, foreign, economical policies and with corresponding shifts in slogans and attitudes.
The simplest and the most obvious behavior of ordinary man is adjusting. But neither its obviousness nor wide spreading makes this type of behavior the only possible one. Latent factors such as crisis or unjustified actions from "above" together with accumulating hidden irritation in "the bottom" may contribute to destroying the standard patterns of mass behavior. Mass rallies in various regions of Russia starting in January 2005 show that "unlikely" types of behavior turnout to be actual and meaningful.
Recent Russian events attach special importance to the analysis of similar and differing features of mass actions in Georgia and Ukraine. In both cases the atmosphere of wide national and political mobilization provided psychological background and resource for mass action. "Common denominator" of situations in these countries may be considered a situation of "post- Soviet impasse" characteristic of many countries of the Soviet legacy. Actions of mass protest all over Russia turned out to be a shock for the authorities and have significantly changed the situation in the country during a few weeks. Having accustomed to endure and adjust "an ordinary man" showed himself indignant and actively protesting for the first time during many decades.
The point is that "privileges" inherited from the Soviet times or gained later are a key link in that silent "social contract" which provided relative stability and peace in a poor society of deficit, is that very "bone" which was thrown to the people by the regime that was not capable of providing the economy efficiency and a normal welfare level and got cheap and obedient labor force. Hasty and unprepared cancellation of the privileges combined with absence of modern economy, with the living standard lower than late Soviet one (1991) actually blows up this "social contract". The outcome is a wretched and socially dangerous travesty of liberal reforms compromising the power and liberalism. One of the most important consequences will be further ruin of — first of all in the consciousness of ordinary man — "indestructible unity of the party (power, President) and the people" in Russia.
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