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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Some important cleavages and contradictions of mass consciousness in modern Russia are considered in the article. It is demonstrated that the most significant cleavages of contemporary Russian society include attitudes to the USA and other Western countries, consideration for the Western way of development and division on adherents of Russia as a great power and adherents of a high living standard. Nevertheless, consideration for the USA and for European Union depends on the international political situation, and on conflicts in the Middle East or in post-Soviet states. For example, consideration for the USA and for the European Union became more negative during the conflicts in Iraq in 2003, in Georgia (2008) and in Ukraine (2014).At the same time, there is consent in the Russian mass consciousness to the most serious problems in modern Russian society. These problems are increasing prices, poverty, the split between the rich and the poor, unemployment, economic crisis, and corruption. It was found that in 2014, the potential of protest in Russian society was minimal in comparison with previous years. However, this potential may increase owing to the difficult economic situation. Russian mass consciousness considers political activity, political protest and modernization of political system in combination with economic modernization, economic development and social improvement. That is why most people do not support campaigns of Russian political opposition. It is concluded that the basic cleavages of Russian mass consciousness were stable during the 1990s and 2000s; these cleavages determine largely the political dynamics of contemporary Russian society.
Mass consciousness, social mobilization factors, Russia, Western countries, cleavages, political processes, political system