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6 years of ESS in Russia

Professor Anna Andreenkova gave a talk "The Main Trends in Social Attitudes and Behavior of Russians in Comparison to Other European Countries".

On April, 12th, 2012, Professor Anna Andreenkova (deputy director of CESSI Institute for Comparative Social Research) gave a talk "The Main Trends in Social Attitudes and Behavior of Russians in Comparison to Other European Countries: 6 years of ESS in Russia".  

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The main idea of the report was to describe the major trends in social attitudes and behavior of Russians in larger socio-cultural context and in comparison to other countries based on the European Social Survey (ESS) data. ESS is an academically-driven comparative survey in social science in Europe of the last decade. The aim of the the ESS is to provide the most systematic and comparable data about attitudes and values of the Europeans in the basic spheres of life: family, politics, religion, social structure and social inequality, the quality of life, etc. Survey is carried out every two years since 2002 year, but Russia joined the ESS only in 2006.

Anna came to the conclusion that differences in attitudes and behavior patterns in different parts of Europe remain strong regardless of integration processes in recent decades. East-West dimension in Europe is important concerning political attitudes and behavior, social structure, labor relations and economic behavior; North-South dimension correlates with differences in family values, household composition, religious attitudes and behavior. In addition, the study revealed that Russia generally develops in-line with general European trends. As to the general trend, the decade of 2000-s compared the 1990-s is the time of relative stabilization in political attitudes, family structure, socio-economic position and other attitudes.

In her presentation Anna mostly focused on political attitudes and behavior. She demonstrated cross-country differences in satisfaction with economic situation, government performance, the state of health care and education. Russians are satisfied with government performance more than on average. At the same time they are less satisfied with the state of health care and education compared to other European countries. The level of electoral and non-electoral participation also varies on country level and is quite low in Russia. The interesting point concerns the relationship between interest to politics and participation, on the one hand, and satisfaction with democracy, on the other. In Europe (especially in Western Europe) this relation is positive whereas in Russia the less satisfied are usually more active.

Trust towards democratic institutions tends to decrease in Europe. Russia is characterized by relatively low trust to democratic institutions but the level of trust is slightly increasing. Around two thirds of Russians and Ukrainians are NOT able to identify their political views Anna Andreenkova briefly covered the aspects of social equality, subjective well-being, professional and working life, level of trust towards judicial system. 

After the report, several questions about trends in social attitudes in Russia were asked.

For more information you can see the website www.europeansocialsurvey.org.

by Anna Mironova