The Request for Change:
Political and Value Dimension
Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, firstname.lastname@example.org
elibrary_id: 585300 | ORCID: 0000-0003-0940-9315 | RESEARCHER_ID: P-7947-2016
This article was prepared with the support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, the project “Social Transformation of Russian Society: Actors of the Request for Change” No. 19 011 00277.
The social perturbations during the first half of 2020s demonstrated the contradictions that were accumulating in Russian society over recent years. One aspect of social disengagement is the peculiar attitude of different social groups and strata towards the long-term course of the contemporary government about maintaining stability; this term is understood as the pathway that preserves the existing political and economic system and “the rules of the game”. Sociological data from monitoring studies by the Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS (RAS) demonstrates that Russian society is divided into approximately two equal parts: one wishes for change, and believes that the shortage of serious economic and social reforms will cause the state to stagnate; the other wants to maintain stability and believes that transformations should not be rushed, having no information about the results thereof. The reasons why public demands for change have formed have already been analyzed by the working group of the research project “Social Transformation of Russian Society: the Actors of the Request for Change,”. Therefore, the author of this article focuses on the identification of the factors that influence subjective choice in favor of change or stability. The analysis demonstrates that such a choice is determined by political, not by social, differences between the supporters of either changes or of stability. These manifest, predominantly, when many Russians are aware that the border between private and public in modern Russia is illusory. The author, applying the sociological data, demonstrates the correlation between the increase of the number of “self-sufficient Russians” and the formation of a request for change. The combination of this attitude with a prospective vision of the future becomes a key factor that forces the desire for change. The social request for changes, which is not accepted by the authorities, forms a special identity that can transform the sense of resentment into a collective action to uphold one’s vision of the future.
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