An Image of the Future and the Algorithms of Social Mobility of Young People in Modern Russia
Gavrilyuk VV1*, Gavrilyuk TV1, Bespalova IM2 , Skok NI 1 and Panova AV1
1Industrial University of Tyumen, Russia
2Tyumen State University, Russia
- *Corresponding Author:
- Gavrilyuk VV
Industrial University of Tyumen
Sociology, Russian Federation
Received date: October 25, 2016; Accepted date: November 08, 2016; Published date: November 18, 2016
Citation: Gavrilyuk VV, Gavrilyuk TV,
Bespalova IM, et al. An Image of the Future
and the Algorithms of Social Mobility of
Young People in Modern Russia. Global
Media Journal. 2016, 14:27.
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This article examines the process of social mobility of Russian youth in relation to the changed social context of modern Russian society that is in the condition of transition to the information stage of development. Theoretical and methodological foundations of the study of social mobility, using the chronological, local and paradigmatic criteria are summarized and analyzed. The choice of life strategies of young people is investigated through the implementation of cluster analysis of the mass survey results. The youth’s perceptions about the main scenarios of sociocultural development of the Russian society have been studied empirically; the interrelation of value orientations of the respondents and their views, concerning basic social values, the perception and planning for the future forms in the context of the comparison of the obtained clusters have been determined. The algorithms’ typology of the new generation social mobility, taking into account the specifics of the Russian social reality is being developed. The study shows that the image of the personal future and the choice of the algorithm of its achievement by the youth in modern Russian reality is determined not only by the social status of the young person, but also imply the freedom of individual choice. This study contributes to the further development of the issue of correlation of social mobility and the temporality of human lif
Values; Youth; The youth’s value orientations; The image of the future;
Social mobility; Cluster analysis
The successful development of any society is determined by its
social dynamics, the speed of social movements, the availability
and efficacy of social mobility, movement and growth of human
capital and social capital. The theme of social mobility is relevant
not only for Russia but for the other countries, being in the full
sense of the global issue. The modern world is at the stage of
"redefinition of the situation" the structure of the economy and
policy priorities are fundamentally changing, the image of the
future of the national states is transforming. The realization of
a new social future is linked to the transformation of economic
systems in the developing countries, coupled with the transition
to new technological basis.
In Russia in recent years there is a popular issue to discuss that
is connected with a new, fourth wave of industrialization of the
economy. The principal changes are also related to the economy
structure management, social and other spheres which influence
on the forms and processes of social mobility. In the industrial
period of social development some definite programs (algorithms)
of social mobility were fixed on the societal level and at the
level of the life trajectories of individual social actors, the new
post-industrial stage supposes completely different programs.
Projecting the problem of the algorithms of social mobility in
Russia, the complex nature of this process should be noted,
taking into consideration the effects of the transition period.
The main purpose of this article is to explore the possibilities
and prospects of social mobility of modern Russian youth, the
rate, the channels, the contents of social mobility. It is intended
to develop a model and typology of strategies of social mobility
taking into account the specifics of Russian social reality.
The empirical part of the project is implemented in the Tyumen
region and represents a conglomerate of different types of
cultures (alien and indigenous); new and traditional type of
management; transformations of the social structure and the
rapid growth of human capital. The novelty of the approach
consists in the attempt to identify the connection between the
selection of the social mobility algorithm and the content of the
image of the future of the representatives within the lifespan of
one Russian generation. The influence of the image of the future
on the choice of the life strategies is connected with the essence
of the Russian mentality, for many generations the image of a fair
social order, prosperity and greatness of the country remained
the most effective motive of the choice of a personal life way. So,
we have pointed out the following goals in our study:
- Identification of socio-cultural and institutional characteristics
of the strategies development and algorithms of social
mobility at the macro level of the Russian society;
- The social mobility of the new generation algorithms’
typology development, taking into account the specifics
of Russian social reality;
- Personal and social perspectives priorities identification in
the image of the future of today's youth.
Based on these indicators, we have identified and described
different types of strategies of social mobility, in the course of the
empirical research their bearers have been examined.
A classic basis of mobility processes study is a conflictological
approach of K. Marx , where the basis of every social
movement is the relationship to the means of production, i.e.
property. In the conception of M. Weber  the criteria quantity
of social mobility is greatly expanded, primarily due to the
introduction of the basic criterion - the relation to the power. The
common for both theories is the emphasis on social stratification
and mobility in the wider socio-political context. The classics of
sociology, M. Weber, K. Marx didn’t develop a theory of social
mobility specially, but their concepts can still act as a basis for
understanding of these processes in society. They founded the
sociological traditions of the social mobility problem studying
and these traditions took shape later as neoweber tradition,
developed mainly in the works of R. Dahrendorf , and Marxist
tradition, the prominent representatives of which were D. Lukács
and A. Gramsci .
A follower of M. Weber teaching, who have had a great influence
on the development of the theory of social mobility, the German
sociologist R. Dahrendorf, considers such factor as a power as a
source of mobility. In his view, social conflict is a struggle over
power interests, and any movements of the person on the power
vertical invariably lead to the transformation of his political and
other viewpoints. After M. Weber, R. Dahrendorf uses the notion
of "life chances" in his conception, which he has interpreted
as a specific combination of rights and ways of their provision.
The class in the market of goods and services is formed around
life chances. The prospects of social mobility, according to R.
Dahrendorf, depend primarily on the position of the groups. The
factors of mobility, defining the status positions of the individual, are education, profession, life style, socio-cultural attitudes and
norms of behavior, their relationship with the market positions.
The classical theory of social mobility of P. Sorokin  includes not
only a scientific definition of this process, but also a classification
of the mobility types and ways of its measuring. The notion of
vertical, horizontal, intergeneration social mobility are classical.
On the premise that the main channels of social mobility are
social institutions, Sorokin identifies the following major (army,
Church, marriage, political and economic organization), noting
that with the changing of society the effectiveness of the
particular institutions may vary. This fact explains the necessity
to study this process in the current environment.
A different view on social mobility is reflected in the works of
theorists of structural functionalism T. Parsons, further developed
by L. Warner and B. Barber. They considered the dynamics of the
social structure not as the consequence of the struggle, but as a
mandatory condition for the society functioning of, ensuring the
equitable distribution of statuses and privileges. This approach
observes social inequality as functionally necessary for the
preservation of society, the parts of which were regarded as the
united and interrelated in the equilibrium system. T. Parsons saw
the conditions of mobility in the aims that the society tends to.
Continuing the functional tradition of social stratification, K. Davis
and W. Moore explain the uneven distribution of wealth and
social prestige of the individual in accordance with the functional
significance of his position . There have been discovered
the essential functions of inequality in society: the problem of
individuals’ social positions distribution, as well as the stimulation
of desire to reach higher positions and to act in accordance with
them. On this basis, the main mobility criteria according to C.
Davis and U. Moore are prestige, respect, rights and benefits
determined by high positions in society. The channels of social
mobility are education, talents and abilities of individuals. This
concept contains a number of significant shortcomings, which
were highlighted by the American sociologist-Marxist M. Tumin .
Dominant inequality in society does not encourage the talents
development, but on the contrary creates the conditions under
which the talents of the people, belonging to lower strata of
society, have a low chance to be adequately implemented.
The family was considered to contribute a lot to the unequal
distribution of the life chances in different segments of the
population. In one case, parents invest in the next generation
a lot of money, cultivate the values of social achievements; in
the other case, they focus children on the manual work and
subordinate position in the social hierarchy .
In the second half of the twentieth century the development
of the theory of social mobility is related to the concepts of
R. Boudon, S. Lipset, R. Bendix. S. Lipset and R. Bendix 
investigated mainly intergeneration mobility in the regional and
territorial aspects. According to their concept, the development
of industrial societies is associated with the intensity increasing
of vertical mobility. Wide opportunities of social growth provide,
on the one hand, the role of the "safety valve", the means of
social turbulence prevention; on the other hand, allow the using
of the passionate potential of new generations, of youth.
In the twentieth century, the problems of social mobility were
considered by R. Bendix, P. Blau, C. Bolt, D. Glass, J. Goldthorpe,
O. Duncan, B. Durieux, H. Zetterberg, S. Lipset, D, Lockwood, K.
Svalastoga, D. Treiman, D. Federman, R. Hauser, R. Erickson, and
others. Thus, American sociologists P. Blau and O. Duncan 
have concluded that the prescribed characteristics (race, religion,
age, gender, nationality), can serve as an effective mechanism
for the distribution of labor roles, and, consequently, impact
on professional career and socio-professional mobility. Other
foreign researchers- M. Yaish, R. Andersen  conducted a
study of social mobility in modern society from the point of view
of the impact of the political and economic context. Scientists
have come to the conclusion that political ideology, economic
production conditions have a significant impact on the nature
and intensity of social mobility.
The last decade of the twentieth century is notable for the studies
of B. Durieux, who proved a special importance of comparative
analysis for the understanding of the social mobility prospects.
In addition, it is necessary to notice the works of J. Goldthorpe
and R. Erikson, who studied class mobility, social movements
in European countries. They compared the levels of mobility in
different industrial societies and came to the conclusion on the
closeness of the indices of social mobility of all industrialized
countries, regardless of the social system . This extremely
important conclusion determines the relevance of studying of the
channels and algorithms of social mobility in modern societies.
A sociological understanding of the social mobility processes was
considered in the framework of the theory of social stratification.
In the framework of this approach, the researchers of the
mobility theme , R. Merton, E. Jackson and G. Crockett 
have focused on understanding of the principles of the capitalist
society mobility. The American sociologist S. Lipset considered
the mobility in the framework of functionalist theory, as a
complex movement in the coordinates of social structure where
the determinative role is played by the economic dimension. S.
Lipset believed that the upward mobility has had a direct impact
on the sustainability of a certain system of values where the
individuality, dynamism and development had primacy .
The upward mobility opens the road for the people to higher
positions in society and contributes to the deconsolidation of
social groups, but this is not about class struggle, but rather of
The main emphasis in these works is made on the analysis
of the processes of social mobility in the industrialized social
systems. However, the formation of the social mobility structure
in connection with the transitional conditions of the societies,
new economic systems are investigated poorly. An independent
direction in the study of social mobility is the approach, developed
in the framework of phenomenological theories (A. Schutz, etc.).
In the framework of this direction the social mobility is interpreted
by means of the ideal measurements through the estimation of
a set of ideas, beliefs, attitudes, opinions, judgments, i.e, the
characteristics of public consciousness and mood. In contrast
to the norms and values, these changes are only the guidelines
and are devoid of ontological status. Postmodern views on social
mobility nowadays are widely represented in Western sociology, so, A. Appadurai studied social movements in the conditions of a
"fluid" society and has identified several ideal types of mobility.
A fundamentally new look at the problems of mobility was
introduced by the British sociologist John Urry in his book
"Sociology beyond Societies. Mobilities for the XXI century"
. His position is connected with the study of modern global
information society, where traditional boundaries and social
institutions have an increasingly smaller impact on social
dynamics. Rigid social structures, including a basic understanding
of the upward mobility in the modern world loses its meaning.
The most significant are various types of physical and virtual
movement and displacement. J. Urry examines the travel of
people, images, objects, messages, waste and money across
international borders in his “sociology of mobilities”. Such
movements today, from the researcher’s point of view, influence
on the social perception of time, space, citizenship and modern
life in general .
In the Russian sociology of the Soviet period, the problems of
social mobility because of the well-known reasons, were not
practically investigated. Meanwhile, the Western sociologists
noted that egalitarian social institutions of the Soviet social
system demonstrated high efficiency in equalizing of the life
chances in comparison with the institutions, servicing the
mobility in the developed countries of the West. Even P. Sorokin
noted the existence of the powerful streams of mobility in the
USSR, while noting that these streams were gradually nullifying
the Bolshevik program of full equality . Mobility in Soviet
society was evolving according to its internal rules that were not
always clear and logical from the point of view of the capitalist
More recent studies, examining the information stage of the
society development, on the contrary, notes significant changes
in the channels of social mobility. Recognizing that Russian society
has serious problems with social mobility, associated primarily
with the closeness of the elite, the scholars have identified
several channels as more or less effective channels such as
political parties, science, military, and sports. The analysis of the
functioning of these social institutions, the information about
many violations and scandals in the media, as well as the opinions
of experts have led to the conclusion about the decreasing of the
effectiveness degree of these mobility channels nowadays.
Modern Russian scientists are still developing the traditional
concept with regard to the development specific of the postsocialist
countries [15-18]. Although some new trends of social
mobility that are specific for the information type of society, have
not remained without attention of the researchers. So, [19,20]
highlight the fundamental trends in this area: first, the emergence
of a new space - a virtual one, secondly, the transformation of this
space into a meaningful factor of the actual social stratification,
opening the new paths of social mobility.
Several fundamental studies of social mobility have been
carried out in Russia under the leadership of V. A. Yadov. There
are well-known works of M. F. Chernysh, V. V. Semenova, E. Y.
Rozhdestvenskaya. In Russia, the issue of social mobility has
not been sufficiently developed, especially in the context of formation of the strategy and algorithms of the modern youth’s
social mobility. In this regard, there should be noted two main
research directions that need some synthesis in the context of
the study problem.
The first direction is the analysis of social mobility in the context
of social structure and social stratification studying, presented in
the works of Z. T. Golenkova, M. K. Gorshkov, T. I. Zaslavskaya,
V. V. Radaev, V. R. Ryvkina, N. E. Tikhonova, O. I. Shkaratan and
others. The authors (for example, T. Golenkova  note that the
modern Russian society is characterized by a flexible and dynamic
socio-professional structure. Over the past decade the close
relationship between political, economic and cultural factors of
mobility has destroyed. Relatively new market relations have
led to a misalignment of the social status of many professional
groups, but at the same time they have opened the opportunities
for the implementation of group social mobility, redefinition of
their own status in the public sector and design of new positions
on the labor market.
The representatives of the scientific intelligentsia have occurred
to be in the most disadvantageous position, they are still required
to have high qualification, level of education, but the level of their
financial position has declined sharply, according to this indicator,
they can hardly be attributed to the middle-class. Analyzing the
social mobility of the Russian society on the threshold of transition
to the information stage, the authors come to the conclusion that
there are many social problems and contradictions. The mobility
of the modern Russian society is characterized by such traits as a
high level of downward mobility, a misalignment of the statuses,
the closeness of the elite, the presence of many informal barriers.
The analysis of social institutions, considered as the channels of
social mobility, shows their limited capabilities.
The second direction consists of the works that are devoted to
the perspective orientations of the youth, that are represented
by such concepts as "life strategy", "the personality life path",
"human labour orientations", "career strategies", "success
strategies", etc. Yu. A. Zubok, S. N. Ikonnikova, I. S. Kon, D. L.
Konstantinovsky, V. T. Lisovskiy, V. S., Magoon, Yu. M., Resnick, J.
T. Toshchenko, M. H. Titma, G. A. Cherednichenko, V. I. Chuprov,
F. E. Sheregi, V. N. Shubkin, etc. appealed to the analysis of these
problems. The project "Paths of a generation" under the direction
of M. H. Titma should be specially noted. It began in the second
half of the twentieth century and was finished at the end of the
century (The life ways..., 1992). A significant contribution to the
development of the related problems was made by the Russian
elitologists such as O. V. Gaman-Golutvina, A. V. Duka, O. V.
The study of social mobility was conducted by R. G. Gromova 
for a new Russia at the beginning of the 1990-ies. The quantitative
study was aimed at the social mobility factors studying to
construct a model of social structure, corresponding to the stage
of the society development. The factors’ analysis during the study
indicated that their structure before and after 1985 changed
slightly (almost all of the traditional factors of social mobility such
as education and status of parents, education of the respondent,
the beginning of his employment and current position were
significant). Therefore, according to R. G. Gromova, real changes happen not so much in the structure of the factors, influencing
the social mobility and position in the social structure, but in the
important assessment criteria of this movement .
In the 1990-th years in Russia there were published the works,
associated with a new algorithm of social mobility; these
works tried to connect the new social movements with the
transformation of the economy and social structure of the
country. It was the very period in Russia when new channels
of vertical social mobility, related to the group support in the
promotion were opened for the young people: communities,
ethnic and religious groups. A special role in improving of the
social status was given not only to the families, but also to the
right personal relations and life experience. All these facts have
seriously spoiled the credibility of such traditional channels of
social mobility as education, profession in the public opinion.
The problem, concerning the algorithm of social mobility for
Russian youth and channels, used by this social group is still an
unsolved research task.
In the course of the work with the RGNF grant №. 150300284
"The image of the future in the social mobility algorithm selection
by the modern Russian youth" we have carried out the research
of a quantitative nature – a mass survey of young people. The
survey was implemented in the Internet using the service "Survey
Monkey" in 2015. The online survey technology allowed us to poll
a large number of respondents over a wide area. The object of the
study was young people aged from 15 to 30 years (senior pupils,
university students, young specialists) living on the territory of
Tyumen region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area-Yugra and
Yamalo- Nenets Autonomous Area. There was used a target
sample type in the study, the total volume of which amounted
to 1252 people.
Processing of study results was carried out using the statistical
package IBM SPSS Statistics, version 19. The main kind of analysis
that allowed creating of a youth typology on the base of the key
indicators, characterizing the best ways to achieve life success
in the future, was hierarchical cluster analysis with the using of
Ward method and Squared Euclidean distance measurement. To
identify the specificity of the clusters there were also used the
methods of frequency analysis and tables’ conjugation analysis.
Analysis, Findings and Conclusions
Algorithms of youth social mobility: the clustering
The task of identifying the basic algorithms of social mobility of
young people has been solved through the content analysis of
perceptions about individual well-being and selected ways of
its achievements, which seem to be the most effective for the
young people. There have been carried out a cluster analysis of
answers to the question: "What is the best way for you to achieve
life success in the future?" where the respondents were asked to
select up to three options. As a result of clustering there have been
defined eight modal types, with different views on the content
of the life success and achievement strategies. The groups were assigned by the codenames; the type-forming characteristics and
volume of each cluster in percentage of the total number of the
interviewed young people were determined:
1. "Gilded Youth" (16,8%): the diploma of the prestigious
university (79,1%) - living abroad (40.3%). At the same time
the representatives of this cluster are interested in the
presence of the diploma and not the content of education.
This group of young people are from the families with the
highest incomes (nearly 40% of the respondents have
noted that family income is high or above average).
2. The "Creative class" (14.9%): availability of the talent
and exceptional abilities (62%)-constant self-education
(63,6%)-desire, persistence in the goals achieving (53,5%)
- good luck (52.4%). The representatives of this group do
not trust the official channels of social mobility, such as
University education, entrepreneurship or a good marriage
but they focus on their own unique skills and talent. Faith
in a happy chance for them does not imply inaction; on the
contrary, good luck in the life and career breakthrough,
in their view is possible only on a solid foundation of a
personal self-improvement. Noteworthy is that this group
is the only one for which a sufficient significant factor was
the factor of "the ability to use the Internet resources and
social networks" (10,2%)
3. "Businessmen" (13,6%): the business creating (99,4%) –
constant self-education (68.8%) - the desire of persistent
goals achieving (55,3%). Young entrepreneurshiporiented
people rely on continuous work, but not on
social institutions, luck or on their own creative potential.
Despite the fact that the variant of the answer "creating
of something radically new (for example, business idea,
scientific discovery)" is rather spread in this cluster,
however, we cannot include the indicator in the algorithm
of social mobility, because its importance is emphasized
by only about 15% of respondents.
4. "Family men" (13%): a good marriage (67,5%), own
business (54%), kinship and friendship relations
(40.5%). This cluster includes young people who have
an orientation to the family values and interpersonal
relationships. Perceiving friendship and family relations
as a precondition of social success, they also care about
the material welfare; the optimal way to achieve it is
considered in their own business. It is an interesting fact
that concerns a minor gap in the gender composition of
the group: 55.9% of women and 44,1% of men.
5. "Excellent Pupils" (9,4%): quality education (95.8%),
the desire and persistence in goals achieving (40.7
percent). The young people of this type rely on traditional
educational institutions and consider that the right choice
of educational institutions, quality of education, and
private efforts, directed to knowledge perception are the
most important conditions for success in the future. Selfeducation
for this group is not as important as for the
other types (a total of 31.4%).
6. "The Intellectuals" (13,3%): constant self-education (88%),
desire, persistence in goals achieving (87,3%), quality
education (37,3%), the correct teachers and mentors
(30.7%). Considering the educational factor is the most
important, as well as the representatives of the fifth
group, the young people in this cluster are not ready to
shift the responsibility for their own future on the official
institutions. Personal, not institutional orientation of the
members of this cluster is obviously observed: they rely on
their own strength, but at the same time they are aware
of the necessity to have competent teachers, able to guide
them on the path to the goals achieving. In this group, as
in the previous cluster of "Excellent Pupils", the girls are
dominant (over 60%).
7. "PR-managers" (6,7%): the ability to establish relationships
with the "right" people (98.8%), the desire, persistence in
the goals achieving (60.7%), own business (42,9%). The
young people of this type consider communication skills
and persistence as sufficient grounds of the life success.
Relying on social relations, the ability to present their best
sides, to "sell" a certain image or idea, they do not value
education. A significant part of the representatives of this
group (42,9%) relies on entrepreneurial activity in the
8. "Innate leaders" (12,3%): charisma, special personal
qualities, ability to influence on people (95,5%), constant
self-education (71,4%), desire, persistence in the goals
achieving (40.9%). This type includes the young people
who are confident in the crucial role of personal charisma
in the achievement of the life success. They focus on their
self-improvement and are ready to do their best to try to
achieve what they want.
We will try to consider the difference of priorities of personal and
social perspectives in the image of the future of today's youth
with regard to the selected clusters. The instruments of the study
contained a number of blocks, directed to the detection of the
presence/absence of the image of the future among young people
and the attitude to it. Attitude to the image of the future included
evaluation of such parameters as the image of the personal future
and plans for it, the presence/absence of the image of the future
among their peers, the ideas about the future of the country, the
necessity of the future planning, fear or confidence, concerning
the future, an attitude to the various components of the personal
future image (family, financial situation, work, power, prestige
and glory, the place of residence).
The image of the personal future of the different
social types’ representatives of young people
The vast majority of youth (60 to 75%) in all the typological
groups announce that they look to the future "with confidence
and optimism." However, a significant number of young people
fear the future: about 40% of the "creative class" and "family
men" are not confident in their own future prosperity. The most
confident are "PR-managers" and "businessmen". From 73 to 78%
of young people in all the clusters believe that the future should
be thought over and planned. The exception is "gilded youth" and
"family men", where the number of the respondents who prefer
to live for today is somewhat higher. It is obvious that young
people, who put the influence of the external factors higher in
comparison to their own efforts, realize their unpredictability
and risks associated with the implementation of such strategies
to achieve social status.
The respondents have distributed equally in all the clusters
according to the criterion of the assessment of the dominant
images of the future of their generation: a half of the youth
believes that "today's youth have the targets and vision of their
country future ", the other half believes that "Most of my peers
are living "today" without thinking about their future". This
polarization of the responses may be the evidence of a lack of the
mature opinions about this issue and about a real difference in
assessments of their own generation.
The future of the country in the projections of
In assessments of the future of the country the majority of young
people demonstrate patriotic orientation on their own path of
development and the aspiration to the world leadership. So, in
answer to the question "Our country is going through difficult
times. What is the way of its development more preferable
from your point of view? " from 30 to 40% representatives of
each typological group said that "We must defend our own
national idea and go by our own way". The same number of the
respondents is not satisfied by the uniqueness and specificity of
the country development course, they are focused on a more
ambitious way of development, believing that the country should
regain the status of the world leader ("We need to restore and
strengthen the authority of the country, in an effort to become
the dominant world power"). Orientation to the closer relations
with the fast-developing Asian countries as the best scenario is
considered by 9 to 23% of the respondents in each group, the
highest estimates are in the groups of "PR-managers" and "innate
leaders" (over 20%). Western European and American model of
development as a model for Russia development is not practically
attractive for the young people (3-5% in each group), with the
exception of "businessmen" where 8.8% of them have indicated
this option as the optimal for our country. The greatest number
of young people, who have not shaped their own positions
according to this issue, is observed in the group of "family men"
(15.3%) and "PR-managers" (10.7%).
The ratio of the collective and individual in the
image of the future of the Russian youth
As Figure 1 shows, about 30% of young people in every typological
group are ready to endure temporary difficulties, associated
with national geopolitics, for the sake of the achieving of the
greater objective of strengthening the country's prestige in the
Figure 1: The image of the future of the country and its impact on the assessment of the personal future by different groups of young
people in Russia (in percentage by the number of respondents in each cluster).
However, from 16 to 21% of the interviewed young people,
accepting the necessity of the struggle for the global status, do
not want to sacrifice their well-being even for a short period,
claiming about readiness to change their place of residence and
go abroad. A significant part of youth are not interested in the
fate of the country and political issues at all, their priorities are
focused on the life quality of their own families: about a quarter
of the "businessmen" and "family men" declare their readiness
to fight for individual well-being by any means. Despondency
in assessment of the impact of the events in the country on their own well-being, paradoxically, is dominant among "innate
leaders" and "creative class" (about a quarter of respondents in
This fact indicates a significant discrepancy between the
confidence of these groups in the importance of their personal
qualities and talent as the primary conditions of social mobility
and doubt in the presence of real structural opportunities for
the realization of these qualities. The lowest percentage of the
pessimists is among the "PR-managers": they believe that relying
on their own communication skills, they are always able to affect
their own future. There are not a lot of "careless optimists" among
youth who believe that the events in the country will not affect
their future, the greatest portion (about one tenth) is among the
groups, linking their future with the support of the family: the
"gilded youth" and "family men".
The youth of Russia remains depoliticized and from 55 to 65%
of them in each cluster do not have definite political positions
and are not the supporters of certain political directions. More
than half of the youth in all the groups declare their orientation
to the patriotic values, which supposes the existence of a certain
consensus in the Russian society on the significance of the state
ideology and effectiveness of the mechanisms of its development,
used in the last decade. However, Figure 2 confirms the presence
of migration intentions of a significant number of young people
(from 12.2% “excellent pupils” to 20.9% of the representatives
of "gilded youth" cluster). The lowest percentage who wants to
leave the country is among the education-oriented youth, they
are “excellent pupils” and "the intellectuals". Most of them (of
70.4% and 69.9%, respectively) also claim about their patriotic
pride and the desire to work to develop their country (Figure 2).
Figure 2: The distribution of the answers to the question "Define your attitude to the fact that you live in Russia" (in percentage by a
number of respondents in each cluster).
Despite the announced patriotism, about a half of the young
people recognizes that there are more opportunities for selfrealization
and career development in the Western economically
developed countries than in Russia. About 20% do not consider
themselves competent enough to implement such comparisons,
others believe that they have less opportunities or the
opportunities are the same. 23% of the "gilded youth", 22.7% of
"family men" appreciate the possibility of self-realization in Russia
as a low or very low. The most optimistic are "businessmen": only
9.4 % believe that it is difficult to self-realize in Russia.
So, in contrast to the Soviet and post-Soviet periods of Russia
development, today's youth do not focus on a single algorithm of
social mobility and do not rely on the uniform generation image
of the future. The image of our personal future and the choice
of the algorithm of its achieving today do not only determined
by the social status of a young man, but it supposes the freedom
of individual choice. The eight highlighted clusters involve
the formation of at least as many models, algorithms of social
mobility of modern Russian youth.
The article was supported by the RGNF grant № 15-03-00284a.
"The image of the future in the social mobility algorithm selection
by the modern Russian youth".
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