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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article argues that corruption in Russia is a systemic issue, which continues to broaden its boundaries, presenting a threat to national security. The problem requires careful attention from modern scientific circles. From a psychological point of view, corruption suppresses one’s subjective wellbeing, twists young people’s legal awareness, and breeds such a worldview that might negatively influence the behavior of youth in the future. All of the above is quite important to sociology, for in many ways it determines an entire range of social processes, including processes associated with the country’s socio-economic development. The pilot section of the study examines young people’s ideas on corruption and its social manifestations. The authors discovered that college students consider corruption to be a serious socio-economic issue, while being able to describe many forms in which it manifests, the reasons for why it’s spreading, as well as counteraction methods (economic, administrative, criminal law-based), though their understanding of its social ramifications is somewhat lacking. Students also separate social (exterior) and personal (interior) factors of corrupt behavior. It was determined that their perception of corrupt behavior bears a range of contradictions, associated with the respondents’ low level of legal expertise, which becomes evident while identifying crimes of corruption, with it in turn leading to mistaken assessments of the specifics of corrupt interactions between citizens. Also, students’ ideas on corruption mostly reflect the everyday aspect, since young people don’t usually have a comprehensive understanding of administrative, or “upper echelon” corruption. The results show that the evaluations of a corrupt individual’s main personal qualities tend to bear a negative connotation. Meanwhile the most pronounced values are linked to a low evaluation of a corrupt person’s moral qualities. The organizational and professional capabilities of corrupt officials are viewed by respondents as weakly or moderately pronounced, however a corrupt individual’s intellectual capacity tends to receive the highest score possible. The scores attributed to their communicative competence also seem to be contradictory: students in equal measure highlight both positive-to-neutral and negative traits of corrupt persons. The study also revealed marked regional discrepancies in ideas on corruption when comparing the responses given by students from various Russian cities. According to the authors, the ideas on the human qualities of corrupt officials expressed by students from different regions require separate examination.
sociology, corruption, social and psychological consequences, students' perceptions, attitudes towards corruption, the personality of a corrupt official, intellectual qualities, ideological characteristics, professional competence, moral qualities, communication skills, regional differences
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