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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The emotional states of people as subjects of social interactions have a significant effect on the manner in which these interactions unfold. Own sentiments are the result of the reflection of the existing social reality. They depend on the balance between one’s expectations of various objects and the response of these objects. The images of different objects of reality are the starting point of building trust or distrust in them. In turn, the resulting sense of trust or distrust is able to change the emotional state of individuals and groups, serving as the regulator of social interactions. This paper conducts an analysis of the factor of trust and distrust in the emotional state of individuals in the Ukrainian society. This society’s development throughout the post-Soviet period was characterised by the following contradictory processes of social changes: the transformation of the social structure, followed by a loosening of the institutional foundations of the social order and the extension of the space of the spontaneous self-organisation of individuals and groups, unpredictability and uncertainty concerning the arising life situations. This was reflected in people’s social status, social interactions, feelings and mood. Becoming a significant feature of the Ukrainian society, the state of uncertainty most prominently reflected the Ukrainian citizens’ growing distrust of each other and the social and political institutions. This distrust has largely led to the economic and political crisis in the country and caused extreme emotional tension. The current data analysis utilises the method of retrospective analysis based on the study of historical facts and empirical data that were obtained in the past but projected onto the present. Thus, we attempt to reconstruct the trends of the reality with the known result. This result refers to the events that are occurring in the Ukraine today. By associating the current events with the data of a study that was conducted two years prior, we not only obtain a reliable picture of the changing social reality but can also empirically test the social mechanism of its change. The empirical data show the correlation of individuals’ and groups’ trust and distrust in the state of certainty and uncertainty in life situations with the assessment of the coming future, a sense of satisfaction with quality of life, protest activity, and attitudes towards emigration. Empirical evidence of multidirectional change in these indicators due to trust and distrust is provided in the article.
trust, distrust, objects of social reality, emotional states, certainty, uncertainty, protest activity, attitude towards emigration, Ukrainian society