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The economic consciousness of Russians and the processes of modernization


Svetlana V. Mareeva, Candidate of Sociology leading researcher, , candidate of sociological sciences, leading researcher, FCTAS RAS; head of center for stratification studies, NRU HSE. Moscow, Russia
mailto: s.mareeva@gmail.com
The economic consciousness of Russians and the processes of modernization.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 28-46


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Topic: Topic of the Issue: The human capital of the Russian modernization

For citation:
Svetlana V. Mareeva. The economic consciousness of Russians and the processes of modernization. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2011. Vol. 2. No. 2. P. 28-46



Abstract

The article analyses the features of economic consciousness of Russians on the materials of all-Russian studies, their interrelation with the modernization processes is shown. The greatest support the Russians give to the model of economic domain of society, according to which the state will restore the public sector, while expanding economic opportunities for the population. At the same time, the classical market economy, where state intervention is minimized, and the leading role in the economic sphere is given to private actors, is slightly supported. A request has been revealed for a mixed type of regulation of the economy, which increases not only with a growth in the level of income, but also with an increase in the level of education. The role of the state should not be fully reduced to a centralized planned economy and allows for the existence of a private sector, but Russians are not ready to transfer any economic activity into its hands. Discontent with the private property is caused by illegitimacy of its distribution, from the Russians’ viewpoint. It is shown that the request for a fully centralized economy is higher among the groups whose income does not exceed the median level countrywide. Those whose income is higher than the median, have higher request for restoration of the public sector, with the expansion of opportunities for population’s activity. It was found that for half of the respondents a job is not the cause of success, while such factors as luck and the right connections play a more important role. This position is conditioned by the experience of collision with the Russian realia, where success indeed is often by no means connected with labor. It is demonstrated that the norms of economic rationality are not dominant in Russian society. At the same time, they are typical for the middle class, which can become a social base for technological modernization, supporting the relevant government measures. But even for the core of the middle class, it is atypical to accept a free competitive market economy. In summary, it was revealed that the optimal economic model, from the viewpoint of the population, assumes that the state is the main subject of economic activity, although different social groups vary in their views on what should be the degree of government intervention in the economy. At the same time, the economic views of Russians do not contradict with the idea of modernization, but they set a certain framework for it.

Keywords

economic values, role of state, modernization, middle class


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