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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article analyzes the problems of development of the Russian creative class. Definitions of creativity are proposed, which is seen as the ability to identify a problem and resist stereotypes, and also as a social force, oriented to building social and dynamic relationships and a society that is fair and reasonably arranged. In comparison with imagination, which in the Russian cultural tradition is defined as an individual gift, creativity implies optimal involvement in public life in the context of awareness of oneself not only in the immediate environment, but also in society as a whole. Creativity is not a mainstream creative works, but a new quality of public life, connected with the fact that millions of people cease to be a mass, strive to become masters of their business and look for individuality in personal influence on public life. The article compares the middle and the creative classes. It is shown that the middle class as a whole has exhausted its intentions, since the challenges of modernity and globalization make the society of mass consumption an unrealizable formula. The middle class in Russia will not be able to form, since adherence to consumer practices is inconsistent with self-realization, and even excludes it. Ability and readiness for self-realization predetermine a cautious attitude toward dialogue with the elite and intensify isolationist tendencies. Two ways of social representation of the middle class have been identified. One, conventionally named opportunistic, affirms the possibility of dialogue with the state and the distribution of the load of responsibility between citizens and power structures. Another way, “revolutionary”, is based on the need to focus new macrosocial structures and institutions on the attitude toward the creative class as an independent social group. The conclusion is made that the society’s need for social self-realization is a catalyst for changes on the way to modernization of a new creative type, based on the movement towards a creative society, a society of equal opportunities. The creative class is focused on non-standard solutions, the development of new forms of activity, so it can become a “modernization minority” requisite for implementation of the modernization project.
creative class, Russian society, social solidarity, social mutual assistance, social influence
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