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Objective and subjective characteristics of the success of post-Soviet youth

Andrey A. Vozmitel Doctor of Sociology, Senior Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia,
mailto: vozmitel@isras.ru
ORCID ID=0000-0003-0472-0550
Objective and subjective characteristics of the success of post-Soviet youth.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2021. Vol. 12. No. 4. P. 67-86

Дата поступления статьи: 08.10.2021
Topic: Modern youth: activity and responsibility

For citation:
Vozmitel A. A.. Objective and subjective characteristics of the success of post-Soviet youth. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2021. Vol. 12. No. 4. P. 67-86
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2021.12.4.751


The phenomenon of success is covered in many works of philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists who study this concept, the ethics of success and the pursuit of it in different social groups. However, achieving success as a special type of activity that is emerging in modern Russia remains largely outside the scope of empirical analysis.

This article examines the genesis of the concept of "success" from antiquity to the present day, gives its definition as a subject of empirical research. The study was based on a survey conducted with the participation of the author among young Muscovites (25 - 30 years old). This age group was chosen because for sociological analysis the most interesting is the generational cohort that grew up and formed during the years of the liberal reformation, in a state and society that differ from the state and society of the Soviet type. In this age group, the most interesting are individuals who already have life experience and are implementing effective life strategies. Therefore, a group of Muscovites aged 25–30, who assess themselves as successful people, was selected for the analysis.

The analysis of relevant social and socio-psychological characteristics of the group of respondents who define themselves as “successful” is carried out in comparison with the group of “losers”. Comparative analysis showed that these groups implement two life programmes: survival and success, determined by status (education, position, income) and socio-psychological characteristics (attitude to work, methods of selection and setting goals, the level of their implementation, type of rationality). Each of these programmes has its own behavioural logic. Thus, low labour motivation and activity of “losers”, their low production status and very limited material opportunities, dooming them to survival, form a model of social maladjustment that impedes the healthy development of the economy and society. On the contrary, success in life is based on a high personal and material interest in one's work, on dedication to work and financial independence. Personal ways of achieving success play an equally important role here: self-confidence, optimism; the ability to set simple and clear goals for oneself, to show perseverance in their implementation. At the same time, it was revealed that successful young Muscovites remain people who are able to correlate their own and other people's interests, when a person perceives his being not alienated from the existence of other people. This is a new socio-cultural type, combining traits of a social character that were not very compatible in the recent past, realising an ethically and socially safe model of life success.


success, youth, self-sufficiency, success, quality of life, values, activity

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