Krzhizhanovskogo Street, 24/35, korpus 5, 117218, Moscow, Russia
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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The current events in Crimea are the obvious signs of a transition from one political and cultural system to another. The transition does not entail any radical economic changes (i.e. the emergence of a market economy), since the new economy type has already been accepted and partly established in the communities that we are studying. This might prompt a conclusion that this new transition has not been as dramatic as the transition from socialism to capitalism. However, it has still caused the “cultural trauma” described by Piotr Sztompka. Along with the trauma comes the need for recovery. Thus recovery is our main focus in this study. We base our analysis on informal observation of the Crimean community and the attitudes thereof in the post-Soviet era, as well as on the field research carried out by the center for studying the social and cultural development of Russian regions in August and September, 2015. We have employed various qualitative study methods, such as: in-depths interviews with members of the local government and representatives of educational, healthcare, and cultural institutions, as well as with ordinary community members in five cities across Crimea (84 interviews in all); and 3 focus groups with local college students. We must point out that the research did not cover the local Tatar community. Our studies show that the transformation processes are underway, and the initiative to bolster these processes is supported by the majority of the Crimean population. It is also evident that the transformation is backed by the Crimean people’s unwavering affinity towards Russia, as well as by their economic activity, which has experienced few changes over the course of many years. The analysis of Crimea’s successful reunification with Russia reveals that the modern Crimean society has all the necessary prerequisites. These include: ample economic and human resources; general consent among the society’s elite; and the state’s confidence regarding social control and the prevention of drastic confrontations and armed conflicts. Research proves that the reclamation of Crimea has a future, because the modern Crimean youth, especially students, are confident about their affiliation with the region, as they keep studying here and intend to stay in Crimea once they graduate.
Sociology, transformation, cultural trauma, political and social practices, Crimean society, local communities, reunification with Russia