Sociology of the Russian image of the future: preliminary results

Sociology of the Russian image of the future:
preliminary results

Tokarev A.A.,

MGIMO University, Moscow, Russia,

elibrary_id: 637634 | ORCID: 0000-0002-8196-0518 | RESEARCHER_ID: AAD-3009-2020

Kravchuk I.D.,

Russian State University for the Humanities (RSUH), Moscow, Russia,

ORCID: 0000-0003-3620-5289 |

Boyko M.Y.,

The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSEN), Moscow, Russia,

ORCID: 0000-0002-9741-2858 |

Ilyinsky R.V.,

Donetsk National University (DonNU), Donetsk, Donetsk People’s Republic,

ORCID: 0000-0003-3256-2174 |

Article received: 2022.03.02. Accepted: 2022.07.04
DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2022.05.09
Rubric: Russia today

For citation:

Tokarev A.A., Kravchuk I.D., Boyko M.Y., Ilyinsky R.V. Sociology of the Russian image of the future: preliminary results. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No. 5. P. 117-136. (In Russ.).

The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and EISI (project No. 21-011-31440). The authors thank S.A. Belanovsky, D.A. Volkov and V.V. Fedorov for valuable critical comments on the research methodology. The authors are also grateful for their help in preparing the text: MGIMO students A. Kolga, P. Lapin, M. Tekhov, master student of St. Petersburg State University O. Zakharova, postgraduate student of Moscow State University V. Andryukhin, master student of MHSES A. Vasilchenko, student of Moscow State University M. Fedotov, master student of Moscow State University L Mishishina, RSUH students E. Polyushko, A. Vedenkina, KemSU student S. Shestakova.


The text is the first in a series of articles about the image of the Russian future, which was formed in Russian mass consciousness in 2021-2022 and considers a 10-year horizon for its evolution. Using the psychographic method in focus groups across the country, the authors try to answer the question: “How do Russian citizens see their future?” The respondents are divided into three age groups: 18-30 years old, 31-55, 56+. Researchers present a study of 36 focus groups conducted in 18 localities of 14 Russian regions (from Moscow to Kamchatka). Despite the focus on the perception of the future, actual problems faced by Russians are also described, and compared with the data of the leading sociological centers. Based on the analysis of drawings and transcripts of the focus groups, the researchers highlight 6 large contradictions (splits) inside Russian society, which could provoke a largescale socio-political crisis in the long term. The first article of the cycle describes in detail the tendencies of unconditional paternalism, the low level of personal responsibility of citizens, the deep inequality of Russian regions, and the mutual alienation of the authorities from society. 

focus groups, psychographic method, image of Russian future, mass consciousness, socioeconomic development, domestic politics, regions of Russia.

Дополнительные материалы


Belokonev, S.Yu., Evgen’evam T.V., & Usmanova, Z.R. (2019). The image of the United States of America in the context of the transformation of Russian identity. Vlast’, 27(3), 20-28. (In Russ.)

Evgen’eva, T.V., & Usmanova, Z.R. (2018). “Ours” and “others”: Images of foreign states in the context of the perception of Russia by its own citizens. Moscow University Bulletin. Series 12. Political Science, 2, 57-74. (In Russ.)

Ketsba, V.I., & Ketsba, B.I. (2021). Political and psychological image of Russia in mass consciousness of middle age groups. Bulletin of Moscow Region State University, 2, 67-79. (In Russ.)

Selezneva, A.V., Smulkina, N.V., & Yakovleva, A.F. (2021). The image of Russia in the structure of the civic consciousness of the youth: A visual dimension. ΠΡΑΞΗMΑ. Journal of Visual Semiotics, 2(28), 110-129. (In Russ.)

Shestopal, E.B. (2021a). Image of an ideal future: Russians’ normative concepts of authorities. Tomsk State University Journal, 464, 99-112. (In Russ.)

Shestopal, E.B. (2021b). Images of “other countries” in the perception of Russian citizens. Bulletin of the Russian Scientific Foundation for Fundamental Research, 2, 65-74. (In Russ.)

Tokarev, A.A., Prikhodchenko, A.Yu., Margoev, A.R., & Tseleshchev, A.A. (2021). Chinese foreign policy reflected in images of the present and the future: psychographic method. Polis. Political Studies, 1, 58-77. (In Russ.).

Usmanova, Z.R. (2020). The image of a migrant in the minds of Russian youth. Russian Political Science, 1 (14), 50-60. (In Russ.)

Volkov, D. (2021). Molodezh’ ot Moskvy do Bryanska. Privedet li smena pokolenii k modernizatsii strany? [Young people from Moscow to Bryansk. Will the change of generations lead to the modernization of the country?]. Moscow Carnegie Center. (In Russ.) URL: (accessed 09.01.2022).

Zorin, V.A., & Ovsyannikov, P.E. (2020). Images of power in the minds of the youth of the Southern Urals: Fifteen years of observations. Russian Political Science, 1, 43-49. (In Russ.) 

Content No. 5, 2022

See also:

Pishcheva T.N., Vinogradova N.S., Nedova A.D.,
The image of Russia through prisms of political communications. – Polis. Political Studies. 2010. No4

Tokarev A.A., Prikhodchenko A.Yu., Margoev A.R., Tseleshchev A.A.,
Chinese Foreign Policy Reflected in Images of the Present and the Future: Psychographic Method. – Polis. Political Studies. 2021. No1

Round Table of the «Polis» Journal, Medoeva Z.G., Vasilenko I.A., Malysheva E.M., Hawer-Tukarkina O.M., Chugrov S.V.,
The image of Russia: deficit of «soft power»?. – Polis. Political Studies. 2013. No4

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

Shestopal Ye.B., Rogach N.N.,
Representations of an “Ideal” as a Factor of the Perception of a Political Leader in Reality. – Polis. Political Studies. 2020. No4



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