Changing Nature of Individualization in Post-Communist Countries

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: Booth 63
Oral Presentation
Elena DANILOVA , Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
In post-communist countries the process of individualization has been reinforced and accelerated during last two decades. Not denying similar globalizing factors, the extra pushing forces of individualization in these countries seem to be different from those in the western societies. Such forces are encapsulated in the consequences of the dramatic social transformation. The researches show that individualist values and egoistic claims increased so fast in these societies. Russian society is a telling example of the trends. There seem a lot of ‘naked individualism’ and alienation in the way people arrange their lives and in social practices under capitalist conditions aggravated by unadjusted rules and norms. The trend is arguable as the phenomena contain traits of pseudo-individualism and a kind of patrimonial relations. The paper searches for explanation in the field of competing theories. Changing paradigm of social development in these societies and the fall of the safety of individuals rather led to the mobilization of traditional mechanisms of survival and self-preservation, with the consequent transfer into modern as well as patron-client relationships. The structural framework in which individuals and groups act is constantly reinterpreted and in this way the social setting acquires new shapes and agency.