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The value markers of Russians cultural and historical identity

Research Article

Igor M. Kuznetsov, Candidate of Sociology leading researcher, , andidate of Sociological Sciences, Leading Researcher, Center for the Study of Inter-Ethnic Relations of the Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
mailto: ingvar31@yandex.ru
The value markers of Russians cultural and historical identity.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2017. Vol. 8. No. 3. P. 12-31

This Article is downloaded: 207 times
Topic: The Theme of the Issue: Grounds of identity

For citation:
Kuznetsov I. M. The value markers of Russians cultural and historical identity. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2017. Vol. 8. No. 3. P. 12-31
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2017.22.3.466


This article’s problem context is explaining a certain contradiction which can be observed in Russian society, between widespread support among Russians for a certain set of traditionalist value imperatives on a very general, abstract level, and a similarly widespread withdrawal from said value regulations when it comes to everyday practices. The study’s working concept is based on the premise that a set of values in one cultural-historic community or another, as well as their structure of a certain sort, stays relatively constant within historic time, while the process of a “value drift” can be presented as a shift in the content of those notions which denote social values. These gradual changes in the content of one value or another can be situated between two opposing points – a traditionalist interpretation of a certain value and a modernist (secular-rational) interpretation. This article analyzes data from population surveys conducted in six Russian regions within the framework of project “The resource of interethnic consent in consolidating Russian society: common and particular in regional diversity”. In order to analyze value systems, 4111 units of observation were selected for this essay, which represent the population of each region – people over 18 years of age who have lived in their respective regions for at least 7 years. The overall conclusion of this study is that a modernization (when it comes to interpreting value principles on an instrumental level) leads to generalized-level value imperatives gradually failing to carry out the function of actual imperatives (as in orders to action), while starting to act as some sort of markers which restrict Russian cultural-historical and even civilization space. Simultaneously these markers act as symbols of Russian cultural-historical identity. An orientation towards these symbols-values helps people consciously identify as Russians within historic time. Established during this study was certain traditionalism when it comes to comprehending the markers of Russian cultural-historical space, which implies an orientation towards supporting the stability of this space, as well as its continuity in time.


Social value system, traditionalism, secular-rational values, Russians’ cultural-historical identity, borders of socio-cultural space.


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