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Between- and within-country value and opinion diversity

Priority areas of development: sociology
Head: Magun, Vladimir
Department: Laboratory for Comparative Studies in Mass Consciousness
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research: to compare values, normative opinions and identities in Russia and other countries taking into account within-country diversity and dynamics.

Methodology: statistical and econometric analysis of international surveys data

Empirical base of research: European Social Survey (4th wave, 2008), European Values Study and World Values Survey (the first 5 waves, 1981-2009), International Social Survey Programme (2009, 2013).

Results of research:

1. The people’s attitudes towards their countries’ economic, political, and cultural openness have been studied in 33 countries involved into the International Social Survey Programme ISSP-2013.The results reveal the relatively high public tolerance to the efforts of international organizations who enforce the national governments to fulfill the decisions of these organizations on environmental or other global issues. The notion that free trade fosters accessibility of goods for the population got the relatively high public acceptance as well. On the contrary, the defensive (protectionist) public response is at its strongest against the activities of large global companies, which allegedly “damage local businesses”, and international organizations, which allegedly “take too much power from the national government”, and also against freedom of importing foreign goods, which a country allegedly “should limit to protect its own economy”.

The Russian population, compared to the population of almost all other countries covered by the survey, is most negatively inclined towards the right for foreigners to own land in the country. Russians as compared to respondents from other countries express a stronger support for cultural protectionism (the country’s “TV should prefer Russian films and programs”) as well. Still Russians, same as the population of nearly half the countries included in the survey, appreciate the opportunities provided to consumers due to free trade (only one country demonstrates even more favorable attitude, as opposed to 15 countries with a significantly more negative attitude on this issue). Russia falls into a group of countries with more favorable attitudes towards the impact of international organizations on the country’s “internal” affairs as well.

2. Objective and subjective social mobility were analyzed using data from 38 countries included in the ISSP-2009. In all the countries intergenerational upward social mobility is more frequent and more pronounced than downward mobility. Mobility during the individual life course (intragenerational mobility) has shorter distances than intergenerational one in all the countries; the former has the more symmetrical distribution of upward and downward shifts in the social status than the latter as well.

The subjective upward social mobility is identified more rarely than it is defined according to objective dataand the lack of change is reported more frequently in virtually all the countries covered in the study. The populations in most of the countries estimate their intergenerational social mobility higher than Russians do, with the even more pessimistic exceptions of Bulgaria, Latvia, and Ukraine.

Objective intergenerational mobility evolves to a large extent by large scale shifts in socio-professional structure occurring through a country socioeconomic development. Comparing his/her own and parental social status, a person most likely does not account for these structural shifts taking them for granted. Due to this cognitive bias the subjective social mobility appears to be lower than the objective one.

3.New results were obtained on factors of public attitudes towards euthanasia. The research reveals different modes of interconnection between religiosity and values of individual autonomy in their impact on tolerance to euthanasia. At the individual level a stronger impact of autonomy values for less religious respondents and, on the contrary, a stronger impact of religiosity for respondents with lower importance of autonomy values have been found.  It has been demonstrated that values mediate the impact of religiosity as well. As a result, at the individual level religiosity fosters the euthanasia intolerance in two ways – directly and via loosening the autonomy values which have a direct and facilitating impact on attitudes towards euthanasia. At the country level religiosity exercises no direct impact on attitudes towards euthanasia and affects them only indirectly, via values.

4. Our study of public values and attitudes in the Western and Eastern federal lands of Germany suggests that almost twenty years since the reunification the East German population is still under the impact from the institutions of their socialist past. This impact creates similarities between the values and attitudes of the Eastern Germans and the post-Soviet Russians. In their demand for the state social support Eastern Germans are closer to Russians than to Western Germans.  The Eastern Germans and Russians are also alike in their commitment to conservation values (security, conformity, and tradition) measured by Schwartz questionnaire: the scores on these values are significantly higher for Russians and Eastern Germans than for Western Germans.

Level of implementation, recommendations on implementation or outcomes of the implementation of the results: The research results have been of help in the lecture course “Multivariate data analysis” taught to the 4th year bachelor’s degree students at the Department of sociology of the NRU HSE, and in the learning module “Data analysis” taught to the 2nd year master students at the Department of business and management of the NRU HSE. They have been of help in the supervision of the above mentioned students working at their annual and graduate theses as well. The current research has provided information for several public presentations in the Russian mass media.


Магун В. С., Монусова Г. А. Личные усилия и общественные блага в сознании жителей европейских стран // В кн.: XV апрельская международная научная конференция по проблемам развития экономики и общества: в 4-х книгах / Отв. ред.: Е. Г. Ясин. Кн. 3. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2015. С. 360-372.
Магун В. С., Руднев М. Г., Шмидт П. Европейская ценностная типология и базовые ценности россиян // Вестник общественного мнения. Данные. Анализ. Дискуссии. 2015. Т. 121. № 3-4. С. 74-93.
Руднев М. Г., Савелькаева А. С. Передача базовых ценностей внутри семьи: концептуализация и пилотное исследование // В кн.: XV апрельская международная научная конференция по проблемам развития экономики и общества: в 4-х книгах / Отв. ред.: Е. Г. Ясин. Кн. 3. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2015. С. 397-404.
Магун В. С., Руднев М. Г. Альтернативные структуры ценностных переменных Ш. Шварца в Европе // В кн.: XV апрельская международная научная конференция по проблемам развития экономики и общества: в 4-х книгах / Отв. ред.: Е. Г. Ясин. Кн. 4. М. : Издательский дом НИУ ВШЭ, 2015. С. 488-499.
Magun V., Rudnev M. Basic Human Values of the Russians: Both Different from and Similar to Other Europeans, in: Culture Matters in Russia and Everywhere: Backdrop for the Russia-Ukraine Conflict / Ed. by L. Harrison, E. Yasin. Lanham : Lexington Books, 2015.
Yasin E. Transformation of Countries in Transition: Culture and the State, in: Culture Matters in Russia and Everywhere: Backdrop for the Russia-Ukraine Conflict / Ed. by L. Harrison, E. Yasin. Lanham : Lexington Books, 2015. P. 21-36.
Монусова Г. А. Приверженность организации в межстрановой перспективе // Российский журнал менеджмента. 2015. Т. 13. № 4. С. 29-50.
Fabrykant M., Buhr R. Small state imperialism: the place of empire in contemporary nationalist discourse // Nations and Nationalism. 2016. Vol. 22. No. 1. P. 103-122. doi
Magun V., Rudnev M., Schmidt P. Within-and Between-Country Value Diversity in Europe: A Typological Approach // European Sociological Review. 2016. Vol. 32. No. 2, First published online: August 24, 2015. P. 189-202. doi
Fabrykant M., Magun V. Grounded and Normative Dimensions of National Pride in Comparative Perspective, in: Dynamics of National Identity: Media and Societal Factors of What We Are / Ed. by P. Schmidt, J. Grimm, L. Huddy, J. Seethaler. L. : Routledge, 2016. Ch. 6. P. 83-112. doi