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The Influence of Socio-Cultural Context and Individual Values on Socio-Economic Behavior in the Modern Russia

Head: Schmidt, Peter

Коды по классификатору Elibrary:
04.00.00 Социология
04.21.00 Общество как система. Социальные отношения и процессы
04.21.51 Социальные процессы и изменения. Социальное развитие

The object of this study is socioeconomic behavior; the subject is the role of the socio-cultural context and values in the social and economic behavior of people in modern Russia.
The aim of the study: examining the influence of the socio-cultural context (ethnic and religious composition, social capital, etc.) and individual values on the social and economic attitudes and behaviour of Russians in the context of modernization changes.

The study’s empirical base:
The results of the socio-psychological survey in four federal districts: Central, Far East, Volga and North Caucasus. Total sample size: 1286 people.
Database of previous studies SEL SPR SU (2005-2010) for analyzing the dynamics of values of Russian respondents. Total sample size: 1,500 respondents.

The main results of the study
1. Measurement of values. The analysis of problems of the Schwartz Value Survey, identified using cognitive interviewing, allowed us to develop a more valid and reliable tool for measuring individual values - PVQ-R. The new instrument was translated into Russian using techniques of direct and back translation involving several translators. At the moment, PVQ-R is adapted and is ready for use on Russian and English samples. In addition, during the reporting period "a questionnaire evaluating everyday behavior" was developed which includes descriptions of actions that people can take being motivated by one of the 19 values embedded in the new theory of basic values of S. Schwartz.
2. Dynamics and heterogeneity of values of Russians. It has been shown that in the period from 1999 to 2011, the value priorities and value structures of Russian inhabitants of Central Russia remained stable. That is, the values of the Russian population during the period of institutional reforms, in general, have experienced little change. Significant differences in values have been observed between (1) residents of different regions; (2) ethnic groups; (3) confessional groups, (4) religious groups (Christians and Muslims), and (5) generations (youth and adults). That is, the Russian Federation is heterogeneous in its values; however, tracking the dynamics of values is not as important as studying their ethnocultural and regional characteristics as well as intergenerational differences.
3. The influence of culture on economic predispositions. The influence of religious affiliation and the degree of religiosity of the respondents on economic predispositions. Orthodox Christians are more prone to wastefulness in comparison with Muslims and atheists; they show less preference for economic self-sufficiency and, in addition, are more inclined to save money than time. Muslims differ from Orthodox Christians and atheists with the highest indicators in the priority of law over profit. Atheists are focused to a significantly greater degree on long-term perspectives, show more economic interest and activity as well as more than religious people support the idea of the distribution of financial rewards "based on contributions".
4. Social capital is negatively associated with "unproductive" monetary attitudes. The most common effect of social capital is its negative correlation with dependence on money. When lacking social capital, people try to compensate for it with financial capital, which leads to the increase of corresponding monetary attitudes. That is, a growth of social capital in society will be paired with a decrease in people's desire to make money at any cost.
Civic identity was examined in the study as one of the dimensions of social capital in a multicultural society. The focus of analysis was the influence of two dimensions of civic identity - nationalism and patriotism - on economic attitudes and attitudes towards immigrants. It has been highlighted that the two dimensions of civic identity - nationalism and patriotism - affect prejudices against immigrants in opposite ways. Thus, patriotism relates with positive attitudes towards immigrants, whereas nationalism predicts negative attitudes. Patriotism promotes positive evaluation of one’s economic well-being. In addition, there is a positive relationship between subjective economic well-being and positive attitudes towards immigrants. The influence of nationalism on economic self-sufficiency is mediated by negative attitudes towards immigrants.
5. Focus on innovations. Individual values are related to attitudes towards innovations, and these relationships are mostly universal in nature; however, there are also patterns of relationships specific to particular districts. At the level of value-oppositions, there has been found a universal tendency to positive relationship between values "Openness to Change" and a positive attitude to innovation in all the studied districts of Russia. Trust and perceived social capital contribute to a positive attitude of an individual towards innovations.

Significance of the findings
The findings can be used in developing special government programs aimed at the modernization of Russian society and its socio-economic development.
A new validated version of the Schwartz value survey  (PVQ-R) can be used in conducting social psychological research or for diagnostic purposes - to identify a hierarchy of values of an individual.
The research materials may be used in teaching, for example, in developing and delivering special courses in the departments of political science, psychology, sociology, management, economy, state and municipal government.


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