Civic Activism in Modern Russian Society: Peculiarities of Localization

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:15
Location: Hörsaal 6D P (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Mikhail GORSHKOV, Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
Irina TYURINA, Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Civic activism is a multi-level and complex phenomenon.  Differentiation of political and non-political practices is one of the most important methodological aspects of its study.  The results of studies conducted by the IS RAS show that over the past years 57% of Russians had an experience of political participation, and 34% had an experience of non-political participation. Despite the low level of non-political activism, its forms were more diverse, reflecting the direct incentives of its participants.  Surveys revealed that one of the main causes of low civic activity of Russians is the lack of effective methods of interaction between the authorities and society. If the ability to create various political and social organizations able to represent their interests notes a third of Russians, the prospects to convey their interests to the authorities assess positively 21% and to influence the policy of the state only 12% of them. In this context, the protest movement of the early 2010s can be considered as an alternative form of communication, aimed at attracting the attention of the authorities to the opinion of general public.  Civic engagement is unevenly distributed among the various social strata and groups, the members of which have different opinions on urgency of the problems facing them, as well as on the effectiveness of their participation in solving them. It is not just about the level of involvement in socio-political activities, but also about the specific forms, methods and motivations of civil participation prevalent in a particular social environment. The variety of forms and methods of participation of representatives of various social groups makes civic activism an important area of social life, sphere of interaction between the state and society.