Internal and External Phobias and Dangers in Russian Mass Consciousness
Director Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences Moscow, Russia
Paper is based on the results of a special nation-wide sociological survey conducted by the Institute of Sociology (Russian Academy of Sciences) in September 2008 in order to study socio-psychological condition of Russian society, social feelings and tendencies specific for it under different context and situations, phobias and dangers as they are in Russian mass consciousness as well as reactions of Russians toward challenges of present-day life. National quota sample used by the research team covered 1750 respondents representing different socio-professional groups of population aged 18 and older in twelve territorial economical regions of Russian Federation, Moscow and St. Petersburg. What was Russian mass consciousness dynamics over the last ten years? What kind of socio-psychological feelings tends to dominate in the country as from 2008 when «political eras change» took place? What are Russians afraid of most of all - internal or external dangers? What are personal phobias and dangers of Russians and how does their hierarchy look like? What are Russians afraid of on a national scale? What external dangers tend to dominate among Russians presently? Searching for answers to above and similar questions we analyzed, from sociological point of view, socio-psychological state and conditions of post-reform Russian society assuming that different phobias and dangers are situational specified, determined by different socio-economic and political processes, as well as that sense of fear and danger is quite natural human feeling which turns out to be regular companion of present-day ordinariness. That is why matter should concern reasons promoting - under the conditions of a concrete historical situation - rise and expansion of specific phobias and dangers, rather than our attitudes toward them.