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"Человек ностальгический": реалии и проблемы

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 19-11-2006
Тематический раздел:
"Man Nostalgic": Reality and Problems (by Yuryi Levada). Numerous studies and observations show steady predominance of positive evaluations, stereotypes of perceptions, and attitudes towards the past periods of our country history, mainly to the longest in the XXth century "stagnation period".
Judging by the surveys data, political and economical systems, the leaders, relationships between people, the whole atmosphere of the 1970s-80s seem more preferable in comparison to the present one. The idea of nostalgic orientations domineering in modern Russian society is brought about and actively supported by a significant part of political and journalist elite. Hence the conclusions are often drawn about the failure or even principle impossibility of reforming the society, of unacceptability of alien life patterns for the people of Soviet-Russian formation, of inevitability of returning to habitual patterns, or at least symbols, etc. While in mass dispositions, as we know from regular surveys, nostalgia for the better past is constantly combined with common practical interests of the present day: the majority of respondents permanently express the desire not just to "survive", but to live "no worse" or even "better" than the people of their circle, some trying to follow the western life standards.
Nostalgic stereotypes are characteristic of our country's historical memory. The objects of retrospective attitudes in mass consciousness were usually not 'the yesterday" but "the day before yesterday" phenomena. Utopian socialists and revolutionaries, including the Marxist ones, have contributed their share to spreading the stereotypes of nostalgic Romanticism. Soviet citizens didn't have meaningful nostalgic moods. That society had lived all its "mature" decades only in one, "today's" time measurement. Contemporary Russian public opinion regards as stable first of all a stagnating state of a hidden system decay that was called "stagnation". The collapse of the Soviet pseudo-stability has brought about the inevitable disintegration of the whole system of the society's time orientation, mainly the principle re-assessment of "the actual" time. The contemporary situation in the country has become "non actual".
It's possible to distinguish, somewhat conventionally, two types of nostalgic phenomena, correspondingly "a symbol" and "a shadow" of the past. The former denotes the appeal to certain knots of social memory which acquire special (for example, ritual) meaning. The latter refers to restoration "the rights" of social institutions, morals, and social orders rejected earlier. During the last 2-3 years the obvious trend has taken shape view to use instrumental mechanisms characteristic of the Soviet period in the interests of power "vertical".
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