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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article is devoted to the analysis of complex and contradictory processes that occur in the mind, mood and political behavior of citizens of the relatively developed countries of the European area, including Russia. The authors’ observations do not so much focus on public consciousness that de facto represents a theoretical construct based on the understanding of patterns of formation and historical development of group interpersonal relations, but rather on the public mood that constitutes the thinnest upper layer of such consciousness. The paper shows that it is public mood, which only indirectly reflects the structure of social consciousness and is highly susceptible to opportunistic influences, that determines mass political behavior. Exploring the reasons for the observed shifts today in public mood and political behavior, the author draws attention to such factors as the increasingly complex structure of the modern society, imperfection of the established mechanisms of power, economic turmoil and the growing gap between public consciousness and rapid changes in the conditions of existence.
Public consciousness, mood, political behavior, political system, stability, instability, dynamics of development