Complex Problems of Modern Public Consciousness

Complex Problems of Modern Public Consciousness

Kholodkovskii K.G.,

Principal Researcher, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), Russian Academy of Sciences,

elibrary_id: 72944 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.03.12

For citation:

Kholodkovskii K.G. Complex Problems of Modern Public Consciousness. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 3. P. 176-181. (In Russ.).


The article is a response of an interested reader to the monograph published by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Public Consciousness in an Era of Change”. This book is, in a way, a response to the increased importance of sociocultural factors in the life of society and to the growing interest in this topic. The central concept of the monograph serving as a tool for exploration of this sociological shift is the philosophical term “public consciousness”, which denotes the reflection of social reality in the psychology of society. Though the universality and differentiation of this term are inferior to the ones of the concept of “identity”, it is still a powerful tool that allows to explore the central part of the spiritual sphere. The aim of this article is to reveal that integrity, the “monographic” nature of the published work, which is not always obvious when reading the collection of articles by different authors. The central plot of the book is the reaction of the public consciousness and, first of all, its mass forms to the diverse and contradictory shifts in objective reality that followed the end of the XX century – the beginning of the XXI century. The conclusion of the authors that a certain backwardness of public consciousness in the face of these shifts is combined with the simultaneous origin of the meta-ideology of humanism preserving the pluralism of social consciousness deserves attention. This gives hope for the consolidation of mankind in the future. Welcoming the fact that a significant part of the monograph is devoted to Russian problems, the reviewer does not completely agree with all the authors’ statements: for instance, there is an obvious inconsistency of authors’ positions on the domestic and foreign policies of Putin’s Russia, which affects their evaluation of Russian mass consciousness. Still, the team of authors made a considerable contribution to the study of the Russian case.

public consciousness; ideology; mass consciousness; socium; systemic crisis; global transformation; national state; meta-ideology; consolidation; modernization; interdisciplinary approach.


Bogdanov A. Nauka ob obshhestvennom soznanii [The Science of Public Consciousness]. Moscow: Knigoizdatel’stvo pisatelej. 1914. 203 p.

Canan C., Foroutan N. 2016. Changing Perceptions? Effects of Multiple Social Categorization on German Population’s Perception of Muslims. – Journal of Etnic and Migration Studies. Vol. 42. No. 12. P. 1905-1924.

Identichnost, obshhestvo, politika. Otv. red. I.S. Semenenko [Identity, Society, Politics. Ed. by I.S. Semenenko]. Mscow: Ves’ Mir Publ. 2017. 992 p. (In Russ.)

Kelle V.Zh., Koval’zon M.Ya. Formy obshhestvennogo soznanija [Forms of Social Consciousness]. Moscow: Gospoliizdat. 1959. 264 p. (In Russ.)

Kinnvall C. The Postcolonial has moved into Europe: Bordering. Security and Ethno-Cultural Belonging. – Journal of Common Market Studies. 2016. Vol. 54. No. 1. P. 152-168.

Razum na raspute. Obshhestvennoe soznanie mezhdu proshlym i budushhim. Pod red. Yu.A. Krasina (otv. red.), A.B. Vebera, A.A. Galkina [Mind at the Crossroads. The Public Consciousness between the Past and the Future. Ed. by Yu.A. Krasin, A.B. Veber, A.A. Galkin]. Moscow: Aspect Press. 2017. 256 p. (In Russ.)

Uledov A.K. Struktura obshhestvennogo soznanija [Structure of the Public Consciousness]. Moscow: Mysl’. 1968. 330 p.

Content No. 3, 2018

See also:

Krasin Yu.A.,
Ideology in the world undergoing transformation: traits to present a new vision. – Polis. Political Studies. 2014. No6

Laboratory: Mass consciousness – from manipulation to comprehension. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No4

Latov Yu.V.,
Dynamics of mass consciousness of Russians: extraordinary situation or beginning of a new cycle?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No6

Neklessa A.I.,
Crisis of the modern world: new forms of sociality. – Polis. Political Studies. 2012. No2

Yan E.,
Interpretation of Nation from the State Interpretation and from Ethnic Positions: Contradictions and Similarities. – Polis. Political Studies. 2000. No1

Screen version