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"Ideal citizen" and civic education in modern Russia

Research Article

Irina N. Trofimova Doctor of Political Science
Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0003-4096-9804
"Ideal citizen" and civic education in modern Russia.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 127-140

Topic: Sociology of change

For citation:
Trofimova I. N. "Ideal citizen" and civic education in modern Russia. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 2. P. 127-140
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2022.13.2S.821. EDN: BRLIAI


The relevance of the problem of civic education is determined by the growing dynamics and contradictions of modern society. The diversity of opinions, multitude of sources of information and ways of communication make it difficult to form conventional norms and rules of conduct. The relationship between the individual, society and the state is becoming more complex and changeable. The status of a citizen is transformed from a "given from above" into a socio-political construct, with civic education in its broadest sense becoming a construct tool.

In the Russian Federation, since the collapse of the USSR, fundamental changes have taken place in the economy, politics, ideology and culture. Radical historical turns in a country with cultural, ethnic and confessional diversity inevitably affect the change in the focus of state policy in the field of civic education, forcing the creation of a new image of the “ideal citizen”. The article demonstrates how the policy in the field of civic education changed its priorities and how these changes were reflected in the views of Russians on what ideas could unite Russian society.

The theoretical basis of the study is а combination of provisions on the growing role of civic education in public communications, the specifics of educational policy in stable and transforming societies, the features of formal and non-formal civic education. The empirical basis of the study is the data of a sociological survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS in 2021.

It is concluded that in the post-Soviet Russia the policy of civic education has changed by ways that can be described as reforms and counter-reforms. The civil law vector of the education reform in the 1990s was replaced by the assertion of the priority of state interests after 2000. This led to a confusion of opinions about what could unite the Russian society in the future. Non-formal education and informal learning have much greater importance. The practical experience of civic participation contributes to more stable and balanced ideas, while civic passivity at any moment can develop into a denial of the interests of both the citizen and the state.


civic education, state policy, formal education, non-formal education, informal learning, civic participation

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