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Socially active groups of Russian society: forming a demand for democratic participation

Vladimir V. Petukhov Candidate of Philosophy
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia,
ORCID ID=0000-0001-9955-9063
Roman V. Petukhov Candidate of Law
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia,
mailto: petukhovrv@yandex.ru
ORCID ID=0000-0003-0940-9315
Socially active groups of Russian society: forming a demand for democratic participation.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2021. Vol. 12. No. 1. P. 16-38

The reported study was funded by RFBR, project No. 20-011-31-518 «Human capital of professionals: current situation, reproduction and role in bolstering Russia’s competitiveness»

Дата поступления статьи: 21.04.2020
This Article is downloaded: 252 times
Topic: Social activities and identity transformations: Russian Federation and European Union based processes

For citation:
Petukhov V. V.., Petukhov R. V.. Socially active groups of Russian society: forming a demand for democratic participation. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2021. Vol. 12. No. 1. P. 16-38
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2021.12.1.697


 Based on the data of public opinion polls, the article assesses the degree of politicization and involvement in the practice of civic participation of a social group of “professionals”, by which we mean the Russian people with higher education and, as a rule, earning a living through mental labour. It is believed that this very part of society is one of the main pillars of democratic regimes in most of the developed countries. In the Russian realities, as the authors of the article note, the representatives of this group for a long time were focused on individual self-realization and avoided participation in the social and political life of the country, that led to the lack of adequate representation of their interests in public policy. In the past few years, as demonstrated by the FCTAS RAS studies, a demand for democratic participation began to form against the backdrop of the awareness of “professionals”, as well as of many other representatives of the middle class, of the importance of a favorable social environment (security, including environmental security, the presence of a developed social infrastructure, non-interference in the citizens private life, etc.). The authors believe that this is a request not only for adequate representation of the interests of these groups in the state, but also for changing the very nature of relations between the society and the state. The authors emphasize that the direct involvement of “professionals” in the practice of political and social participation is of “pulsating” nature yet, representing their reaction to certain political events that seem important. Despite the fact that the level of this involvement is not very high, nevertheless, it noticeably (and sometimes multiple) exceeds similar indicators of other socio-professional groups. In the event of a further deterioration in the quality of the socio-political environment and a decrease in the standard of living in the country, the “background” interest of the majority of Russian “professionals” in politics might be transformed into systematic and more active practices of political participation.


  professionals, democracy, civic participation, creative class, emancipatory values, interest in politics, civic activism



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