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The Problem of Choosing Life Paths by Youth in Russian Regions (Based on Field Research at VSTU)

Research Article

Nadezhda V. Dulina Doctor of Sociology, Professor,
Center for Sociological and Marketing Research "Analyst", Volgograd, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-6471-7073
Raisa M. Petruneva Doctor of Pedagogics, Professor,
Volgograd State Technical University, Volgograd, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0002-8834-5745
The Problem of Choosing Life Paths by Youth in Russian Regions (Based on Field Research at VSTU).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2023. Vol. 14. No. 3. P. 215-235

Дата поступления статьи: 24.02.2023
Topic: Problems of socialisation of Russian learners

For citation:
Dulina N. V., Petruneva R. M. The Problem of Choosing Life Paths by Youth in Russian Regions (Based on Field Research at VSTU). Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2023. Vol. 14. No. 3. P. 215-235
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2023.14.3.10. EDN: JLJZZT


The life path of a modern young person is significantly influenced by the level of development of information technologies, that are transforming all spheres of human activity. This imparts special significance to the context of understanding the challenges faced by youth when choosing their trajectories for entering the adult world and their future professional endeavours. Globalisation issues leave an imprint on systemic transformations within Russian society, significantly complicating the decision-making process for young people regarding their own futures and the future of the country. This notably "adjusts" traditions, shifts value priorities, including those related to pursuing higher education. This research analyses the motives behind the choice of life path by university applicants within the higher education system, based on their perceptions of their future and the realities of contemporary socio-cultural and economic situations in Russia. Through the examination of new data, the study investigates the strategies for implementing life patterns chosen by university applicants, their alignment with individual life plans, and the actual mechanisms of their realisation and legitimisation.

The relationship has been examined between the choice of one's future professional path and the university that, according to applicants, can provide a solid foundation for their future careers. Today, the selection of an educational institution is not only an important but also a complex issue for applicants and their families. Therefore, one of the research objectives was to identify significant characteristics of universities themselves and socio-economic factors influencing the choice of future study location by applicants, as well as the basic patterns in selecting future professions.

The research results confirmed that the majority of university audiences are currently filled with representatives of Generation Z, whose level of trust in electronic sources of information is higher than that in traditional sources, including age-old advice from parents and close relatives. Overall, the hypothesis of the enduring value of higher education for the majority of former applicants who have already become students was confirmed. This research also demonstrated a clear manifestation of consumer behaviour and paternalism in their professional lives, an orientation toward high living standards, and social status.


entrants, student youth, life path, life strategies, growth motives

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