Intolerance and aggression among Russian youth: "normal" and dangerous manifestations
Department of Sociology Peoples Friendship University of Russia Russia,
The quantitative survey based on a standardised questionnaire investigating youth's life situations, guiding norms and values, patterns of orientation and behaviour was conducted in 2007. The survey sample was representative of the sex, age, education, region and urban/rural residence of Russian youth. The results highlight indeed alarming trends of potential aggression among Russian youth, especially towards members of national minorities and illegal immigrants (mostly seasonal workers from former Soviet republics, mainly Ukraine, Central Asia and South Caucasus Republics, employed in the retailing and construction sectors). The Russian youth revealed themselves rather contrasted: on the one hand we see great hopes and expectations considering future educational and economic status; on the other hand the youth expresses a high degree of frustration and disillusion when assessing the way Russian authorities and the society as such function, when naming the "events" they are most afraid of, when identifying their most acute problems. But despite such a contrasted portrait of the generation and its ambivalent values risks of social disorder seem to be quite limited at least for the present. There is a huge amount of potential aggression but it doesn't splash out except through the emotional statements - the youth doesn't want to be part of any extremist movements or even to be identified with such. We are going to discuss various elements that determine how (secure or insecure) Russian youth feel about their present and future and will try to suggest interpretations of the situation revealed through the surveys taking into account the latest changes in economic and political spheres.