“Birth of a Citizen”: Political and Psychological Analysis of Russian High School Students’ Civic Consciousness

“Birth of a Citizen”:
Political and Psychological Analysis of Russian High School Students’ Civic Consciousness

Selezneva A.V.,

Lecturer of the Chair of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Faculty of Political Science, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, ntonina@mail.ru

elibrary_id: 604572 |

Azarnova A.A.,

post-graduate student of the Chair of Sociology and Psychology of Politics, Faculty of Political Science, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, aa.azarnova.1996@gmail.com

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2020.05.08
Rubric: Russia Today

For citation:

Selezneva A.V., Azarnova A.A. “Birth of a Citizen”: Political and Psychological Analysis of Russian High School Students’ Civic Consciousness. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No. 5. P. 101-113. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2020.05.08

The study was carried out with the financial support of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the autonomous non-profit organization “Expert Institute of Social Researches” in the framework of the scientific project No. 19-011-33031 “Citizenship of Russian High School Students as a Political and Psychological Phenomenon: Value Bases and Formation Mechanisms”.


The article presents the results of studies that aimed to identify the civic consciousness of modern Russian high school students. The theoretical basis of the study was a political and psychological approach, in which citizenship is determined by a combination of cognitive, value-motivational, emotional, and behavioral components of the personality, and is expressed in its relationship with the state and society. Empirical data collection, processing, and analysis were carried out using a complex of quantitative and qualitative methods, including formal interviews, projective methods (unfinished sentences, psychological drawing), and an expert survey. Based on the analysis of empirical data, structurally meaningful characteristics of the civic consciousness of state school students (aged 15-18) were revealed. The analysis shows that young people have cognitively poor, contradictory, and stereotypical representations about Russia, including its social and political structure and affairs with the outside world; they have contradicting feelings about their personal future (mainly positive) and the future of their country (mainly negative), And their civic involvement is poor due to distrust and disinterest in social engagement. The conceptual and symbolic side of being a citizen can be described as unformed; state school students in Russia have no examples of an ‘ideal citizen’ to recognize and model themselves on. We found out that the cohorts of Russian state school students are heterogeneous in value-emotional terms: orientation to values of survival and values of selfexpression, as well as emotional attitude to Russia as a country (positive) and Russia as a state (negative). As a result, it is concluded that the civic consciousness of high school students in Russia is at an average level of development. The problems in the civil-patriotic education of schoolchildren are largely due to the contradictions in the holistic state policy on the formation of young Russians’ civic consciousness. 

citizen, civic consciousness, high school students, political socialization, political values, political views, character, social activity, citizen participation, patriotic education.


Krupets Y., Morris J., Nartova N., Omelchenko E., Sabirova G. 2017. Imagining Young Adults’

Citizenship in Russia: from Fatalism to Affective Ideas of Belonging. – Journal of Youth Studies. Vol. 20. No. 2. P. 252-267. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2016.1206862

Schools, Curriculum and Civic Education for Building Democratic Citizens. 2012. Ed. by M. Print, D. Lange. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Rotterdam Sense Publishers. 156 p. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6209-167-2

Sandahl J. 2015. Civic Consciousness: A Viable Concept for Advancing Students’ Ability to Orient Themselves to Possible Futures? – Historical Encounters: A Journal of Historical Consciousness, Historical Cultures, and History Education. Vol. 2. No. 1. P. 1-15.

Van Deth J.W., Abendschon S., Vollmar M. 2011. Children and Politics: An Empirical Reassessment of Early Political Socialization. – Political Psychology. Vol. 32. No. 1. P. 147-173. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9221.2010.00798.x

Verhaegen S., Boonen J. 2016. The Development of Political Knowledge in Adolescence: The Importance of Information-Rich Socialization Contexts. – Politics, Culture and Socialization. Vol. 7. No. 1-2. Р. 7-27. https://doi.org/10.3224/pcs.v7i1-2.01


Evgen’eva T.V., Nechaev V.D. 2014. The Problem of Russian Schoolchildren National Identity Formation. Analysis of Seniors Civil and National Self Identification Research. –Tsennosti i Smysly. No. 1. P. 7-21. (In Russ.)

Fan I.B. 2010. Theoretical Model of the Phenomenon of Citizen: Socio-Cultural Approach. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 6. P. 149-161. (In Russ.) URL: https://www.politstudies.ru/files/File/2010/6/13.pdf (accessed 06.07.2020).

Kliucharev G.A., Trofimova I.N. 2016. Some “Lessons” of Theory and Practice of Civic Education. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 1. P. 175-191. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2016.01.12

Kochetova Yu.A., Emelianova Е.А. 2019. Psychological Characteristics of the Manifestation of Civil Position in Early and Late Youth. – Psychological-Educational Studies. Vol. 11. No. 4. P. 147-156. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17759/psyedu.2019110412

Nikiforov Yu.N., Skalina A.N. 2007. About the Concept of “Citizenship”. – Izvestiya of Altai State University. History and Political Science. No. 4/3. P. 248-253. In Russ.) URL: https://elibrary.ru/download/elibrary_12957456_25986153.pdf (accessed 06.07.2020).

Popova S.Yu., Selezneva A.V. 2018. Social Activity of Youth: Status, Problems and Prospects for Development. – Obrazovanie Lichnosti. No. 2. P. 96-103. URL: https://elibrary.ru/download/elibrary_35441280_61033913.pdf  (accessed 06.07.2020).

Radaev V. 2019. Millenialy: Kak menyaetsya rossiiskoe obshchestvo [Millennials: How the Russian Society Changes]. Moscow: Higher School of Economics Publishing House. 224 p. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17323/978-5-7598-1985-1

Selezneva A.V., Palitay I.S. 2019. Perception of Their Own Country of Russian Youth: Value-Symbolic and Political and Cultural Aspects. – St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University Journal. Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol. 10. No. 2. P. 123-135. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.18721/JHSS.10211

Semenenko I.S., Lapkin V.V., Pantin V.I. 2010. Identity in the System of Coordinates of the World Development. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 3. P. 40-59. (In Russ.) URL: https://www.politstudies.ru/files/File/2010/3/4.pdf (accessed 06.07.2020).

Shcherbinin A.I. 1992. Political Science in Search of the Citizen. – Polis. Political Studies. No. 5-6. P. 190-193. (In Russ.)

Shestopal E. 2005. Political Socialization and Resocialization in Modern Russia. – Politeia. No. 4. Р. 48-69. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.30570/2078-5089-2005-39-4-48-69

Sidelnikova T.T. 2005. “Better To See Once...” – Vysshee Obrazovanie v Rossii. No. 9. P. 146-149. (In Russ.)

Sukhomlinskii V.A. 1971. Rozhdenie grazhdanina [Birth of a Citizen]. Moscow: Molodaya gvardiya, 346 p. (In Russ.)

Vakurova T.N. 2009. The Essence of the Concept of “Civic Consciousness” in the Scientific Psychological and Pedagogical Literature. – Ivzestia of the Volgograd State Pedagogical University. No. 6. P. 134-137. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 5, 2020

See also:

Patrushev S.V.,
Civil activity: institutional approach. Prospects for research. – Polis. Political Studies. 2009. No6

Shestopal Ye.B.,
Introducing the section. The human dimension of politics. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No6

Workshop of the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences.,
Russian Identity in Sociological Dimension. Part 1. («Political Activity and Civil Participation», «Foreign Policy Aspects of the Russian Identity»).. – Polis. Political Studies. 2008. No1

Round Table of the «Polis» Journal, Gaman-Golutvina O.V., Avdonin V.S., Sergeyev S.A., Chernikova V.V., Sidenko O.A., Sokolov A.V., Evdokimov N.A., Tupaev A.V., Slatinov V.B., Zhukov I.K., Kozlova N.N., Rassadin S.V., Chugrov S.V.,
Regional political processes: how «subjective» are subjects of the RF. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No5

Bolshakov I.V.,
The culture of russian political actors: a variant of typology. – Polis. Political Studies. 2011. No5



Introducing an article

Polis. Political Studies
2 2007

Allenov S.G.
Fascism – Multifarious and...Faceless?

 The article text


   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991