Юридическая консультация онлайн

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18.05.2021, . 06:47

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Major Results of the Research

1. The research data prove the conclusion that social activity of Russians has been on a rather low level recently. Over one third of Russians under survey participated in the collective socially useful activities in some form during their life; the other two thirds never participated in such activities in any form.

2. The pique of activity falls on the pre-reform times. The pique social activities falls on the first half of the 90-s, i.e. on the beginning of social economic changes in Russia; then the activity reduced considerably.

3. The most widespread forms of participation in the social life, i.e. those in which most of the Russians under survey participated in the last 10 years, is participation in the election campaigns (collection of signatures, dissemination of leaflets, advocating) which can be considered as voluntary activities only partially as it is most often paid for. 11% of the respondents took part in these activities. In the last 10 years 8% of the respondents put their signatures under collective letters to mass media and power authorities, 7% made cash donations in favor of some socially useful project or organization, 6% attended meetings, negotiations, conferences organized by public organizations or unofficial public groups. Other forms of participation were practiced by a small share of the respondents - 4% participated in meetings, demonstrations and other actions of protest, 2% applied to court protecting group interests and 2% spoke to people on some problem and called to take part in its solution.

4. Although at the present time there is a large number of non-governmental public organizations and political parties in Russia the participation of population in these is quite limited. Only 1 of the 9 Russians took some part (formal or informal) in the activities of public organizations. 30% of the respondents participated in the work of non-governmental organizations in the last 10 years while there were 23% of those in the last 5 years.

5. In the course of their lives the Russians mainly had something to do with the three organizations - trade unions (40% of the respondents participated in the work of trade unions in the course of their lives), youth organizations (14%) and political parties (10%). Very few Russian had experience in working for any other organizations (7% participated in the clubs by interests, 5% - in local self-governing bodies, 4% - in women's organizations, 3% - in religious organizations, 2% - in ecological organizations, 2% - in Veteran Unions, 2% - in charity organizations and!% - in civil right protecting organizations).

6. A very small share of the population took part in government directly. Only 2% of the respondents occupied posts in the elected power authorities (it was mainly in the Soviet times).

7. Possible real motives for participation in collective actions are violation of someone's rights and a wish to protect these rights or correct the violation. A significant share of Russian (41%) came across violation of their rights or interests. Those were most often the problems connected with delayed payment of wages and pensions (40% of cases), violation of rights or interests in the sphere of housing, communal services and other household problems (27% cases), labor disputes (14%), limitations in social benefits ((9%), militiamen's illegal actions (7%). Over half of the respondents (55%) tried to take some action to in these cases in order to protect their rights or interests; the others did not do anything. Those who tried to act used mostly individual action (such as appeals, most often personal, sometimes in the written form, to power authorities, to the management of enterprises and organizations, sometimes even individual claims to court) but they did not resort to collective action. Passive forms were used in the rare cases of collective action - writing collective letters, complaints, and petitions. As a reason for their inaction the respondents most often indicated to the absence of belief in the success of their struggle and too meager chances for success («No use to struggle», «I know that nothing can be changed», «And what can be done? The situation is the same everywhere, nothing to be done», «Others did not achieve anything»), absence of energy, time and stamina to attend to this problem.

8. The attempts of collective action were successful in most of the cases (56% achieved their goals fully and 30% - partially), collective initiative was a failure only in 1 of the 9 cases. The greatest help in implementing these ideas was provided by the people from the closest encirclement (family and friends) as well as neighbors and members of the closest community. Part of the people (28%) received help from local power authorities, one third - by government and municipal power authorities. Only a small part of various public initiative organizers received support from non-governmental public organizations (7%) or political parties (2%). People saw obstacles on the way of their projects implementation from government and municipal power authorities (14%) and local leaders (10%) but most often people encounter just indifference.

9. Although the level of citizens' participation in social activities is rather low today the potential for participation is far from being low. Most of the Russian under survey said that they would be ready to take part in various forms of social activities if such a proposal came and the problem concerned them.

10. Although passive forms are most acceptable to most of the Russian under survey the potential of protesting and even violent forms of participation may be assessed as quite significant. Only a bit less than one third of the respondents said that they could take part in strikes (31%), meetings and demonstrations (31%), and even show resistance to militia (27%) and create obstacles to the work of transport (10%). The potential of participation in personal conventional forms within the official organizations is much lower though it can be estimated as prospective - it is participation in the activities of public organizations (26%), in the work of political parties (14%). 9% of the respondents consider it possible to take direct personal part in government (they are ready to run for self-governing and power authorities).

11. Thus, Russians show rather high readiness to participate in various forms - from conventional to protesting, from passive to personal. What issues or problems could make Russian resort to these forms of participation? Over half of the respondents could be made to take vigorous collective action for the solution of household, housing and communal problems (55%); the second place is taken by problems of social support (35%). The problems that concern a man and his family personally are followed by social and ecological environment - these are ecological problems (27%) and problems of self-government and life organization in the area (25%). A great mobilization resource is possessed by the problem of anti-crime fighting (18%) and violation of civil rights (14%). This potential is much more limited for the problems that have a more global societal character and for human rights violation such as violation of social and economic rights (9), election rights or political rights (5%), women's rights (4%) and national minorities' rights (3%).

12. The confidence in the efficiency of various forms of public participation is rather low among the Russians. Only a small share of respondents (from 3% to 9%) is quite sure that any of the forms of public and political participation may be efficient in the solution of problems. The Russian consider as the most efficient (at least partially) participation in elections (46% think that elections may impact the situation in the city, district, oblast or the country), strikes (36%), signing petitions and appeals (33%), meetings and demonstrations (32%). The work in official organizations - non- governmental public organizations and political parties - is considered as efficient by 19% and 23% of the respondents, respectfully.

13. A major reason for impossibility to participate in various forms of collective action is, as the respondents believe, the absence of leaders, organizers of collective action (this opinion was expressed by 48% of those who were not ready to participate in any form of public and political activities). Other limitations for participation are people's perceptions that they have no people holding the same views (9%) and they do now know where to turn to (8%). All the other reasons are important only for a small share of the respondents (lack of time - 14%, lack of knowledge and experience - 1%, health problems - 1%, etc.).

14. At present those who act as organizers of collective action (both official and unofficial) amount to less than 1%. In addition to individuals organizations may also act as organizers of collective action - non-governmental public organizations and political parties. The activity of these organizations in involving people in their actions is very low. About one fifth of the respondents (20%) said that some public organizations and power authorities applied to them for some assistance during the last year. Yet only 3% of the respondents remembered appeals made by public organizations,7% indicated to appeals made by political parties, 9% mentioned local power authorities.

15. As to public organizations most of the appeals came from ecological organizations, animal protecting groups, trade unions, youth organizations, Veteran Unions and national communities. Appeals of public organizations were most often in the form of letters in the mailbox (10 cases out of 28), a representative of the organizations came personally (7 cases out of 28), a slogan was put up with an appeal or information (6 cases out of 28). There were rare cases of appeals through electronic mail, by fax and announcements in the doorway. A pretext or subject of appeal was an invitation to a meeting (9 cases out of 28), a request for cash donations (6 cases out of 28), invitation to a street meeting (5 cases out of 28). In more than half of the appeals made by public organizations to the population the respondents responded to this request (54%), i.e. an appeal was a success. A reason for refusal to fulfill the request of non-governmental public organizations was in most cases the absence of time, sometimes - the absence of interest shown by the respondent to the subject of appeal.

16. The RF Communist party and «United Russia» applied to the population most often (18% and 15%, respectively). Some people remembered appeals made by Liberal Democrats, Unions of Right Forces and Yabloko. The most widespread form of appeal was a letter in the mailbox (63%). The other forms of appeal were used very seldom. A motive for appeal was a call to vote for a party or a candidate (45%), collection of signatures (28%) or invitation for a meeting (28%). 41% of those who received an appeal from the political party showed a positive response. A reason for refusal to support the request was distrust for the party and its proposals, lack of interest for the subject raised by the party, lack of time and divergence between the respondent's views and party's position.

17. As to local power authorities it is city executive power authorities that applied to the population most often (55% of cases), sometimes - elective commission, very seldom - deputies or legislative power authorities of any level. Power authorities use, as a method of appeal, letters to the mailbox (37% of cases), a representative's personal appearance (25%), slogans with information or appeal (17%), announcements in the doorway (19%). The subject of appeal was a request to participate in the subbotnik (60% of cases), appeal or campaign for participation in the election (26%), invitation to a meeting (23%) or collection of signatures (22%). In most of the cases people showed a positive response to the appeal of authorities (79% of cases).

18. As to other organizations it is religious organizations, District Communal Departments, Housing Operation Departments, and candidate supporting groups that appeal to the population most often.

19. At present there is less than 1% of those who act as organizers of collective action or participates actively. We did not detect any significant differences between the Russians as a whole and a special group - activists - in basic socio-demographic parameters (activists can be found among people of all age groups, men and women). As to social, professional and educational parameters the activists are a group of highly educated people (two thirds of them are people with the higher or incomplete higher education). An equal part among them are people with higher humanitarian and technical education, and a smaller part is made up of people who majored in sciences. Political and social activity of citizens has more chances to be reflected in the conditions of regular employment. Activists are people with the income higher than that of the population on the average (either sufficient material resources allow people to be engaged in socially useful activities, or vice versa, these activities result in the improvement of material well-being). Comparison of socio-demographic characteristics of activists and population allows to conclude that activists occupy higher social positions in our society than representatives of the population that are not referred to this social category. And these higher social positions of activists promote increase of their income, confidence in the ability to maintain their material well-being and also increase estimates of the life success, i.e. higher level of social well-being as compared with most citizens.

20. It can be presupposed that it is the citizens who spent most of their life in the province but try to move to large cities and settle there, or live in regional administrative centers and can exercise their activity there, that become more socially and politically active.

21. Analysis of the results obtained showed that these two groups - activists and population - differ greatly in the values, civil position, use of mass media, etc. Activists show more interest for political and public life of the society than the population of Russia as a whole. They more often and more regularly watch news programs both on Russian and Western TV channels, listen to the news on the radio, read local and central press.

22. Another factor of being involved in the active social activities is the prior life experience connected with the participation in various public organizations (work in the Comsomol, USSR Communist Party, trade unions).

23. Activists have a very well developed sense of responsibility for various groups of the population and the situation in the village/city/district/oblast/ country. The reasons that could make people participate in the public and political life are the same among activists and population but the incentive is different for these two groups. The activists also differ in their confidence that the situation in the city or district can be changed by means of participation in meetings, strikes, signing petitions and appeals.

24. Activists indicate to the personal disposition as the main incentive for participation in various socially useful activities (35%), the second place is taken by participation in public activities due to professional occupation, through colleagues or in the place of work (31%), prior experience of social work (16%), friends' example or advice (13%). The most important reason to undertake socially useful activities is a wish to solve some specific problem (36%), a feeling of fulfilled civil duty (25%). Personal reasons ( influence made by friends or family), a wish to make a political career, to become famous, solve some personal problems are the main incentive for only 13% of the respondents. A key reason for participation in these activities for many of the respondents is a wish to establish social connections, feel oneself needed by the people, contact interest people and experience enthusiasm. (for one quarter of activists).

25. Most activists are engaged in various public activities without limiting themselves with on of its forms. Apart from the activities that served as criteria for selection of respondents for the survey, most of activists participated in 2-3 more public activities on the average.

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