Youth of Post-Soviet Russia: Socio-Economic Position, Value Orientations and Living Aspirations
Leading Research Fellow Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow, Russia
What happened to young Russian people under transformational processes took place over a reform period? How do they live today and what will be their life tomorrow? Results of monitoring surveys conducted by the Institute of Sociology (RAS) in order to analyze problems, perspectives and living aspirations of post-soviet Russian youth let us to conclude that overwhelming majority of it demonstrates succession with respect to parental generation as regards value orientations and attitudes toward basic vital values. Characteristic features of youth refer to its working qualities and associated with them level of material well-being, its morale and behavioral peculiarities as well as attitude toward politics. Young people have a number of advantages over elder generation since they possess higher level of qualification, skills and abilities appreciated by modern labor market as well as are ready to take proper account of market requirements including re-qualification in case of necessity. Young people's material well-being tends to be better than that of their parents. No wonder that former are much more optimistic estimating personal consequences of contemporary economic reforms. Thus, for example, in 2007 part of young people answering the question «Do you like or dislike life in Russia as it is today?» positively, was half as much as compared with 1997, increasing from 45 up to 60%. It appears that the main reason of positively oriented dynamics of mass youth consciousness consists in the fact that the majority of Russian young people has already adapted - professionally, organizationally and psychologically - to new socio-economical relations and conditions and found (faster than elder generation) the ways to earn their living. At the same time it's worth mentioning that differences between successful and unfortunate young people tend to become more profound and consolidated. Thus, for example, young people working at private enterprises exhibit a tendency to improve their material well-being, while those employed in public ones - quite the contrary. What will be with Russian youth under the conditions of world financial and economic crisis?