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Aspirations and Social Consciousness of Russians

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 31-12-2010
Мир России. 2003.  Т. 12. № 4. С. 120-159. 
Тематический раздел:
The Center of the Analysis of Social and Cultural Changes (CASCC) attached to the Institute of philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences (director of the Center - N.I. Lapin) carried out a new survey «Our values and interests today» in summer 2002. On the basis of representative sampling, which included 20 regions of the country, over 1000 interviews each lasting an hour and a half (101 questions) were obtained. The interviews were conducted domiciliary in a friendly atmosphere.
This is the fourth research in the framework of all-Russian monitoring «Our values and interests today», carried out by CASCC. The monitoring began as far back as in 1990 in the Soviet Russia (RSFSR, 1990) and it is still carried out according to the same program, which gives an opportunity to make the reliable comparison between the data of the development of post-Soviet Russia and Russia in its Soviet period. The presented cycle of research (1990, 1994, 1998, 2002) is overall: it includes social, political and economic contexts of life; basic values and standards of behavior of the population; its labor, incomes, daily interests, estimations of the present day and of the nearest future. There were published five monographs on the basis of the results of three first researches; including: N.I. Lapin «Russia's Paths: Socio-cultural Transformations» (M., 2000); L.A. Belyaeva. «Social Stratification and Middle Class in Russia» (M.,2001).
We present here the most important results of all the four surveys, and the last one in particular. These results reflect five lines of the monitoring and, they are correspondingly described in five sections of the article.
1. Social health of the population of Russia.
From 1998 to 2002 the percentage of those who think that the material conditions of their life have stabilized or have improved, increased by almost 1,5 times (from 50 to 73%). However: 25% of respondents think, that their life has become worse; 17% expect deterioration of their life in the nearest year; more than 20% can not give a definite answer. As compared with 1994, the satisfaction of the Russians with their life on the whole has grown twice (from 17 to 37%) and has almost run up to the level of 1990; the dissatisfaction with life has become lower than in 1990 (44% compared to 55%). The feeling of security reached the level of 1990 (21%), and uncertainty concerning the future reduced almost by 10% as compared with 1990 (47% compared to 56%).
2. Where do the Russians prefer to work.
On the whole the traditional paternalism gives way to independence in the consciousness of the Russians: the percent of those who rely on themselves, and not on the authorities, increased from 43% in 1990 to 78% in 2002.
As compared with 1998 the desire of the able-bodied to change the specialty, profession increased from 16% to 25%. The range of preferences in enterprises types is expanded in favor of private (from 20% in 1990 to 85% in 2002) and mixed (from 8% to 42%) sectors, while the selection of the state sector varies between 45-56%. People under 45 prefer the private sector more often than others; this border increases with the age of these cohorts. The situation with people whose age is between 45 and 54 is contradictory: in spite of the fact that they are in the able to work age, they are badly adapted to the labor market and they are unclaimed at the enterprises with new types of property. The elderly prefer the state sector, and planned economy.
3. Social stratification of Russian society (author of the section — L.A. Belyaeva).
The middle class, which is singled out on the basis of the aggregate of three criteria - education, income, self-identification, - amounts to 14% of the population. In 1999-2002 there was the 1% annual growth of the middle class. Two strata are singled out in the middle class: upper and lower (1/3 and 2/3 of the middle class).
The employment structure of the middle class reproduces the social and economic structure of the whole population. The most active age groups are concentrated in the middle class: 25-44 years old. They use active strategies of economic behavior, rely first of all on their own strength, and have high estimation of their professionalism. The upper stratum of the middle class is mainly employed in the private sector of economy (54%) and in joint-stock companies (46%). Almost half of the lower stratum of the middle class works in the state sector, 14 % - in the joint-stock sector and 18 % — in the private sector.
Young age groups (under 45) are the most successful in mastering the specialties claimed by the market, they are oriented towards new types of enterprises, and their standard of living has grown. The most contradictory situation is in the cohort of 45-55: more than 65% of this group supported the planned economy, 73% referred themselves to the needy group.
4. Where do the values of the population of Russia push the country.
The authors build up the socio-cultural model of basic values of the population of Russia. Four stratawere singled out: «integrating core», two middle strata, «conflict periphery». The core and the periphery are rather stable, while the middle strataare mobile.The support of liberal values mainly integral values which form «integrating reserve» has increased. On the contrary terminal values mainly remain traditionalistic.
There are no changes in conflict periphery of basic values.There is asteady confrontation between imperiousness and willfulness, which is close to «permissiveness»; it has at all times been practiced in Russia by both «lower strata», and «upper strata».
5. Rights and liberties of the citizens of Russia: their importance and violation.
In 1990-2002 there occured the differentiation of the studied constitutional rights and liberties into five groups according to the importance of complying with them: from «very important» to «perhaps, not important». The key problem is the reverse relationship between the importance of rights and liberties and their violation: the more important are rights and liberties, the more often they are violated; the most important rights are asserted by the victims with the least success. There is a «constellation» of very important rights and liberties: equal protection of the law; right of security and protection of the individual; right to personal property; right to work; right to education. Permissiveness from below and from above most often becomes evident in the violation of right of security and protection of the individual: these are personal crimes, including murders, property, moral and other damnification. Increase in crime, lack of protection from permissiveness trouble more than 95% of the population. This lack of protection results in critically low confidence of the population to law-enforcement institutes.
Main conclusions
A) The share of the Russians, whose life conditions are improving is increasing. However, there remain very poor strata, they constitute not less than 25% of the population; their life conditions continue to deteriorate. The priority task remains the same — address support of the poor strata, which must stop deterioration and initiate the improvement of their life conditions.
B) The main obstacle of Russian transformation is the contradiction between the value of human liberty and the absense of security provision.
C) We live in post-crisis Russia. This means, that the system crisis of the society has been overcome. But it doesn't mean, that the consequences of the crisis are overcome in all spheres of life of the society. The consequences of the crisis are overcome unevenly. Moreover, in view of conservation of the contradictions mentioned above, the degradation of the originated social order is possible.
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