Sociology of Youth in Russia: Historical Experience and Current Approaches

Friday, 20 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Mikhail GORSHKOV, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
Irina TYURINA, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation
The focus of presentation will be two intertwined and critically important issues – to review historical and theoretical preconditions for youth studies in Russia and to analyze of the situation, problems and the livelihoods of youth in today’s Russian society. It is known that in modern society several discourses of youth coexist. The authors treat youth as an object of socialization and self-fulfillment and study its role in reproducing social structure of the society. The topic is considered to be relevant throughout time but it is becoming particularly urgent today – in a post-crisis situation, during a quickly evolving international political tension that results in the “struggle” for the minds of the young, and the rapid advances in information technology which are adopted by young people to the point that an information space becomes their immediate environment, unlike the older generations. Youth as a distinct social group is reviewed in a multidimensional way. At the same time, special attention is given to developing youth public consciousness, the way young people perceive social contradictions within modern Russian society, their civic engagement, social identity, ethnic tolerance, etc. Some words will be said about those young Russians displaying delinquent behavior (drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc.). The presentation is based on findings supplied by numerous national sociological surveys conducted under the leadership and with the direct involvement of the authors since the late 1990s onwards. Building upon the results from these and several other studies they revise some conventional for classical sociology of youth ideas and principles, identify the new options for its future development, request to resist any attempts at unification of this complex social group reducing the nature of today’s youth environment’s transformations to only one, albeit significant, feature, call on to reevaluate the new role and status of youth in society.