Institute of Humanitarian Researches













Moscow - Innsbruck


Lukov Val. A., Lukov Vl. A., Zakharov N. V., Gnevasheva V. A., Namlinskaia O. O. Social and Cultural Value Orientations of Russian Youth: The Theoretical and Empirical Researches, Youth and Mass Media : Monograph / Trans. B. N. Gaydin, ed. N. V. Zakharov; Institute of Humanitarian Researches; International academy of science. - Moscow; Innsbruck: Moscow University for the Humanities, 2007. - 75 p.

The present monograph is concerned with researches on the youth problems in Russia, with a special emphasis on the history of the theoretical and empirical researches devoted to the youth issues, with development of the theories on youth and the thesaurus conception of youth. The central focus of the research is social and cultural value orientations of Russian youth. The study presents a detailed analysis of impact that mass media plays in socialization of youth, its generations, the influence on public opinion formation and priority directions of national policy of regulation of mutual relations between youth and mass media.

Translation by B. N. Gaydin

Translation editing by N. V. Zakharov

Copyright © 2007, by Lukov Val. A.,

Lukov Vl. A., Zakharov N. V.,

Gnevasheva V. A., Namlinskaia O. O.,

Gaydin B. N. 


Lukov, Valery Andreevich

Lukov, Vladimir Andreevich

Zakharov, Nikolai Vladimirovich

Gnevasheva, Vera Anatol'evna

Namlinskaia, Oksana Olegovna

Gaydin, Boris Nikolaevich (Trans.)

Social and Cultural Value Orientations of Russian Youth: The Theoretical and Empirical Researches.

Moscow; Innsbruck: Moscow University for the Humanities, 2007.


The present monograph is concerned with the problem of the Russian youth, with a special emphasis on the history of the theoretical and empirical researches devoted to the youth issues. The authors' attempts to provide a comprehensive account on the development of theories on youth in Russia and the thesaurus conception of youth from the early 1920s up to the present time. The research delineates the term thesaurus and its connection with the formation of Youth's outlook.

The central focus of the research is social and cultural value orientations of the young Russian. The study presents a detailed analysis of impact that Mass Media plays in Socialization of youth, its generations, its influence on public opinion formation and priority directions of National Policy of regulation of mutual relations between youth and Mass Media.

This monograph attempts to examine the presence of Mass Media in Youth's every day life. The research provides a detailed analysis of contemporary state of the Youth's trust to the Mass Media and degree of dependence on it. The study presents a detailed analysis of the traces of mass media's influence on one young Russians.

The essence of the problem can be summarised as follows: mass media impact is so overall and all-purpose that technological and social progress of a state, its position in the world economy and economical competitiveness, effective realization of a role in the international labour distribution and development of democratic institutes depend on it. The mass media represents one of the main socializing institutes and is one the most accessible and influential mechanisms of personality formation, as well as the formation of value orientations. As we can see, any component, any function of mass media has both a positive and a destructive component to the youth and to the society in whole. Mass media promotes both the integration of a society and its disorganization.

The completed research is fundamental for the sociological and the philosophical generalisations that underline comparative research on the youth problems in Russia, its social and cultural value orientations and the influence on public opinion formation and priority directions of National Policy of regulation of mutual relations between youth and Mass Media.

Key words: Youth problems in Russia, value orientations, the thesaurus conception, the influence on public opinion formation, priority directions of National Policy, Mass Media.



1.1 Early Russian Researches ... 9

1.2 Researches of the "second wave" ... 14

1.3 Development Problems of Theories on Youth ... 18

1.4 The Thesaurus Conception of Youth ... 23


2.1 Values: problems of theory ... 28

2.2 Russian youth in the mirror of its value orientations ... 33


3.1 The Importance of Video Culture

in Socialization of Youth ... 49

3.2 Influence of Periodicals on Young Generation ... 52

3.3 Mass Media Influence on Public Opinion Formation ... 54

3.4 Youth and Mass Media: Bases of Trust ... 58

3.5 Priority Directions of National Policy

of Regulation of Mutual Relations

between Youth and Mass Media ... 62

3.6 Discussion ... 64

Bibliography ... 67



There are deep-rooted traditions of researches on the youth problems in Russia. By their trends and purposes they partly concur with the traditions of the humanities in Europe and America. In Russia in different times - it was the same way in the West - diverse youth concepts had been conveying and continue to express the society's expectations for new generations. This is in a sense a theoretical mirror of the natural process of generation change. Under modern conditions these concepts can be reduced to three directions: youth - "no man's land", youth - social danger, youth - hope of society. At the same time youth theories have the mark of the socio-cultural contexts and contexts of the development of the humanities in Russia. In this article these similarities and distinctions will be examined.

The development of youth theories in the world on the whole and in Russia in particular progresses in discrete steps. The three main schools of theoretical understanding of youth1 were formed in the 1920s - the beginning of the 1930s. Indeed, there were minor deviations: for instance, the book "Adolescence" by an American sociologist G. Stanley Hall was published in 1904, the publications by a German psychologist K. Gross, which contained important states for the formation of youth theories, appeared in 1912, the "Diagnosis of Our Time" by a German sociologist K. Manheim, in which his earlier stated theses were evolved, was issued in 1943, etc.

The first school defines youth as a bearer of psychophysical features of adolescence. The researchers investigate not essentially youth, but adolescence as a life period of an individual (G. Stanley Hall, Charlotte Bühler, W. Stern, A. Freud, W. Reiche).

The second school interprets youth as a cultural group - through the aggregate of cultural characteristics and functions (E. Spranger, R. Benedict, B. Malinowsky, M. Meed and others).

The third school studies youth as an object and subject of the process of succession and change of generations - the social function of youth is in the foreground here (the sociologists of the Marxist school, K. Manheim).

The ascent of the youth sociology in the 1960s - the beginning of the 1970s (also with minor deviations beyond this period) proceeded in the same ways, primarily in the second (S. Eisenstadt, F. Tenbruck, T. Roszak and others) and third (H. Schelsky, L. Rosenmayer) directions.

We see the circumstances of the great advance in the theoretical understanding of youth in these two periods, because just at that time youth showed its worth through self-reference in the forms of youth movement especially vividly. The theoretical presuppositions for determination of youth as an object of special research had already been in the 19th century, but nevertheless they were not realized in the youth theories. There are the theoretical possibilities of development of the conceptions on youth in modern sociology, which has changed greatly with the propagation of phenomenological sociology and strengthening of the postmodern tendencies, but these possibilities remain mostly potential. In this fact we find the peculiarities of youth self-realization and its self-reference. Apparently, what is ascribed to the present youth subcultures is not enough for youth self-reference and in these forms what was typical for the mass youth movement of the 1920s and the 1960s is not attained.

1.1 Early Russian Researches

They began to conduct researches on youth problems in Russia quite long time ago. At least, from the beginning of the 20th century they were carried out in the order of the known autonomy in the context of social sciences being formed in that time -psychology, sociology, anthropology, criminology, etc. In particular, there were such researches on the student youth in several Russian universities, which were conducted in the 1910s2. But both the number of researches on youth problems and their range were very insignificant at that time, and as a consequence of it no youth theory was formulated.

Nevertheless, at the empirical level the material was being collected, which subsequently gave the impulse for framing of original theoretical concepts, connected with the comprehension of phenomenon of young people.

The main directions of the youth studies in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century reflect the new processes, which were expanding under the dynamic conditions of revolutionary changes. The Russian youth - an active participant in the three Russian revolutions, and any revolutionary transformation on the scale of the entire society leads to the renovation of the ruling elites due to the coming of young generations of politicians, public figures. The October Revolution of 1917 is not the exception.

Against the new public background the youth researches have followed the three main directions.

The first direction is elaboration of working youth problems. This category was practically beyond the field of scientific interests in the pre-revolutionary period of Russian history (some attention was paid to separate aspects - chiefly in the connection with analysis of child labour problems - by Russian Marxists, but it is better to call them just fragments than proper researches). In the 1920s a wide range of literature on studying of working teenager, young workers in the aspect of psychology, pedagogy and sociology was being formed. Among the works of this kind there are books of interest even for today, e.g., I. A. Ariamov "Working Teenager"3, V. A. Zaitsev "Labour and Life of Working Teenagers"4, B. B. Kogan and M. S. Lebedinskii "Way of Life of Working Youth"5, etc. Quite often working youth was studied beyond exact disciplinary frames in these works. It is especially typical of pedological researches, in which pedagogical, psychological and sociological aspects of studies on young workers were interlaced. Taking integral tendencies in the field of modern social knowledge into consideration the interdisciplinariness of many 1920s works seems to be of current importance.

The second direction is research on studying youth. In the 1920s the tendency to integral generalization more often on the basis of the pedological concepts is also discovered here. Despite the controversiality of these concepts the most important for the further researches on youth theoretical and methodological positions (e.g., of such outstanding scientists as P. P. Blonskii, 1925; and L. S. Vygotskii, 1928) were formulated within their frames.

The criticism at "pedological perversions", which was leveled in the USSR, and the prohibition against pedology in the 1930s changed the key points of studies on pupils and students. Not all of the changes were fruitless for science (although it is evident that under the circumstances of strict ideological control and political repressions a certain part of researches was a kind of imitation and they were solving the problem of survival for the scientific society). Among the most productive for the further decades theoretical and socio-design constructions, which have their heuristic significance even today, we should mention the A. S. Makarenko's conception of child's and youthful collectives6. Nowadays in Russian science it is interpreted ambiguously. Accusations against Makarenko as the author of the conception, which allegedly leads to totalitarian submission of person, were especially typical in the beginning of the 1990s. The period of faultfinding has passed, but a new understanding of Makarenko's conception in the connection with the tasks of work with children and youth in the modified Russian conditions (including the phenomenon of increasing number of homeless children and teenagers) has not appeared yet. We consider it to be a serious omission in both the scientific and practical/applied aspects7.

The third direction is research on youth movement. In the 1920s an unusual attention was paid to this question. This was clear not just by accident. Firstly, exactly at that time the beginning of youth movements assumed a clear organizational form on the different poles of the ideological and political spectrum. The political youth organizations and other organized forms of youth activity were rapidly developing. There was an increase of contacts of youth organizations on the international level. The international youth associations were being formed. Secondly, in the early period of Soviet history the social subjectivity of youth had a great potential for possibilities and diverse forms of realization. Activity as a trait of personality and collective was claimed. It was the most important ideological direction and could not be beyond the scientific understanding.

On the whole the researches on youth in the 1920s, partly in the 1930s - a wide field for different scientific experiments, explorations, theoretical innovations. Some themes were introduced into the circle of scientific subjects under the obvious impact of Freudism. The psychoanalytical inclination was very evident in those years8. The ideas of psycotechnics were being broadly used, pedagogical experiments were being conducted. Scientific exaggerations (vulgar sociologism, pedology) and a strict discussion in the scientific community were usual phenomena of those years.

From the beginning of the 1930s the authorities were increasingly interfering in the scientific polemics. Adherence to that or another scientific theory was more and more often evaluated from the position of political loyalty and reliability. So, the analysis of the scientific achievements in the investigation on youth problems in the USSR in 1934 (the year S. M. Kirov was killed and the mass repressions in the milieu of scientists in the sphere of social sciences followed) can be made today only when the real conditions of the Stalin epoch for the scientific creative work in the field of social sciences are taken into account.

1.2 Researches of the "second wave"

For the contemporary knowledge about youth the researches - theoretical and empirical - which were being conducted from the mid 1960s, when new conditions for the development of social sciences appeared in the USSR, are of great importance. Sociology revived and the situation in psychology, pedagogy, etc. considerably changed. The group of the sociologists attached to the Komsomol Central Committee, established in 1964, became the first (after the long interruption of several decades) proper sociological laboratory in the country. It is not occasionally that the development of sociology as a field of science is closely connected with the elaboration of youth problems and providing the researches, which were being carried out under the organizational and financial support of the Komsomol bodies9.

Empirical researches on youth problems obtained a grand vim in the 1960s-1980s. Conducting of All-Union, regional and local surveys of youth (namely question surveys were associated with sociology as a field of knowledge) became constant and customary for Party and Komsomol work. Scientific groups and separate scientists were specializing in different thematic blocks. The problems of labour and working education, ideological and political training, social activity, value orientations of youth, start of life, and so on were the most actively studied. The scientific authority of such nowadays prominent Russian sociologists as N. M. Blinov, B. A. Grushin, S. N. Ikonnikova, I. M. Il'inskii, A. I. Kovaleva, I. S. Kon, V. F. Levicheva, V. T. Lisovskii, M. N. Rutkevich, M. H. Titma, V. N. Shubkin, and others was formed in these researches.

It is very important for today's state of researches on youth problems that for several decades - sometimes in the competition of scientific schools, but more often in the joint collaboration - firstly, the academic institutes, and mainly the sociological institutes of the USSR Academy of Science (nowadays - of the Russian Academy of Science), secondly, the leading universities and institutes of higher education of the country - in Moscow, Leningrad (St. Petersburg), Barnaul, Ekaterinburg, Krasnoiarsk, Novosibirsk and in some other Russian cities and, finally, thirdly, the biggest specialized in the field of youth problems studies scientific complex in Moscow Veshniaki Area, - the Highest Komsomol school (1969-1990) and its Scientific-research center (1976-2002), the Institute of Youth, which was sooner established on this basis (1991-2000), Moscow Humanitarian and Social Academy (2000-2003), and today Moscow University for the Humanities (since 2003) - all them have been concurrently working out on these problems as their basic.

These "three whales" of Russian sociology of youth were in desperate straits in the beginning of the reforms (especially in 1990-1993), but mainly they did not lose their scientific potential and recently have begun to conduct All-Russian and regional researches again. The revival of youth sociology in pithy and scientific-organizational sense is evident.

The state reports on the condition of young people in Russian Federation have become a special form of scientific knowledge development. The first report was written out under the scientific direction of I. M. Il'inskii in 1993, the second is under the scientific direction of I. M. Il'inskii and A. V. Sharonov in 1995, the third is under the direction of Val. A. Lukov in 1996, the fourth and fifth were made out under the direction of Val. A. Lukov, V. A. Rodionov, B. A. Ruchkin in 1998 and 2000, the sixth is under the direction of V. A. Rodionov and E. Sh. Kamaldinova in 2002, the seventh is under the direction of Iu. A. Zubok and V. I. Chuprov in 2003. It should be mentioned that if in other countries quite often such reports are not of vital significance as forms of scientific knowledge presentation (it is essentially considered to be a reference book in which a departmental viewpoint of little interest for a researcher is expressed) then there is a different situation in Russia. The state reports (and regional in the same pattern) have determined the present-date mechanism of collection and analysis of great amount of various information on youth. The original All-Russian researches were carried out because of preparing of the reports. The work on the text of the reports is being carried on in the atmosphere of scientific polemics among outstanding scientists in this field are representatives of different schools in sociology, social psychology, demography, criminology, etc.

After the collapse of the USSR and radical transformation of the social system in Russia new thematic spheres were outlined in the researches on youth.

Firstly, projects on organization of social work with young people in the new conditions appeared on the basis of the researches. They began to attach significance to the analysis of the world experience in social youth work and its adaptation for the Russian situation10.

Secondly, the research practice in the study of different kind of problem points in the state of young people has essentially broadened. In the textbooks on youth sociology there are extensive sections about deviative behaviour of youth11. Thorough researches on narcotization, alcoholization of young people and so on have appeared12. The impact of new information situation on young generation is being actively studied13. Youth socialization is being investigated on more fundamental basis, including the specificity of socialization of such categories of youth, which had not been analyzed in this aspect before, for instance, deaf youth14, youth with specific needs15.

New aspects of researches on youth showed up as the assertion of phenomenological concepts and qualitative research methods were being made in several Russian scientific schools. Micro researches on youth communities16 became more well-grounded in this aspect.

1.3 Development Problems of Theories on Youth

The empirical researches on youth problems have been conducted since the 1960s with close relation to theoretical understanding of social phenomenon of youth. Before the 1990s the searches in these fields had been being made on the basis of recognition of the Marx-Lenin theory and methodology of study of society. At least, the historical materialism was declared as a methodological basis of such researches (although in practice it was not always so). The class approach to youth was being elaborated most thoroughly. The dogmatic interpretation of Marx's theses was widespread, but this did not impede the researchers of real processes to deepen their theoretical understanding of youth in the Soviet society. They did it through the analysis of its social structure, the interpretation of reproduction of social and professional structure with specificity of professional orientation17, the working out of the theory of youth social development18, the study on the problems of the difference between generations19, etc.

In some works, in which their authors try to represent the historical way of sociology of youth development in Russia, the idea that two orientations were typical for the researches on youth of the 1960s-1980s is approved. The one consisted in the implementation of the authorities' ideological order, the other - in the active opposition to this order and the development of researches, which were aimed at the study on youth as a subject of social life20. This myth is not created on the reality. In the actuality the leading sociologists of the country, who were working in the field of youth problems, were cooperating with the officials. And only because of this they had an opportunity to conduct painstaking researches on youth problems. In particular, this circumstance contributed to the development of sociology of youth in the country and its recognition in the world scientific community (in the framework of Research Committee 34 "Sociology of youth" of the International Sociological Association, international symposiums in Primorsko and others). There is no sense to draw the political watershed between the Soviet scientists who were specialists in the sphere of youth problems.

It is more righteous to divide them among scientific schools, where one can see some nuances of the interpretation of the theoretical theses concerning youth, even when the authors stated in one accord that they adhered to the Marx-Lenin methodology of social analysis. The differences appeared in the generalized works on youth, published as early as in the end of the 1960s - beginning of the 1970s21. The I. S. Kon's position confirmed in the understanding of youth at that time. According to it youth is a social-demographical group, which is distinguished on the basis of totality of age-specific descriptions, features of social status and determined themes, and other social and psychological traits22. V. T. Lisovskii's approach, which relates the conception of youth with the socialization process, remained without proper attention. (It is related to the fact that representatives of the official bodies were leveling criticism at the term "socialization").

We see a potential in the Lisovskii's approach, which is not realized enough. Although in some recent works the emphasis on the structural characteristics of youth remains, the analysis of dynamical characteristics is becoming more productive. It reflects the paradigmatic transfer from social and economical to the socio-cultural orientation of sociology of youth. In Russian practice the analogous transfer took shape in the end of the 1980s and was most noticeable in the researches on the informal youth movements (V. F. Levichev, E. E. Levanov, E. A. Orlova, S. I. Plaksii and others), mental culture of youth (T. A. Kudrina, A. I. Shendrik), and also was spreaded in the researches on wider fields of problems (I. S. Kon, V. T. Lisovskii, in the analysis of delinquent youth subcultures (G. M. Minkovskii) and foreign youth movements and subcultures (Iu. N. Davydov, V. Ts. Khudaverdian) and others.

At the same time the main part of the researches on youth stayed within the course of interpretation of social determination of behaviour and youth consciousness in labour activity (E. D. Katul'skii, V. I. Mukhachev, O. V. Romashоv, I. M. Slepenkov, N. S. Sleptsov, V. G. Kharcheva and others), during the change of educational status (N. A. Aitov, F. R. Filippov, V. N. Shubkin), in the political process and management activity (I. M. Il'inskii, Iu. P. Ogegov), etc. The fact that sociology of youth development consisted of even opposite viewpoints, but it nevertheless did not lead to the war between scientific schools and currents, should be considered to be a certain advantage.

On the break of the 20th and 21st centuries, as one would expect, the tendency towards the theoretical understanding of youth appeared again. It is noted that there was an aspiration to sum up the long-term researches. Such are the mentioned above V. N. Lisovskii's book23, summarizing works by I. M. Il'inskii24, the book on the theoretical questions of youth sociology by A. I. Kovaleva and Val. A. Lukov25, the collective monograph "Russian Youth: the Problems and Decisions" (2005) and others. These works - some more, the others less - advance the theoretical understanding of youth from the viewpoint of the new social experience of the last decade. I. M. Il'inskii in his books gives, in particular, a meaning of philosophy of youth afresh, interpreting it as a value, and raises the question about new generations in the light of the global challenges of the 21st century. Il'inskii conceptualizes the youth problems on the basis of the experience of the past and the present and forms the approaches to youth policy, which is adequate to our times.

In several recent summarizing works the understanding of the empirical material, which reflects new aspects of social life of the last decade, is presented more thoroughly on the theoretical level. Such are, particularly, the results of studies on risks26.

The broadening of problems of researches on youth and the arrangement of theoretical generalizations of empirical material in the context of modern social science have revived the elaboration of the integral science of youth. This position, being discussed actively as early as the 1970s, became the subject of substantiation in the works by V. V. Pavlovskii again. He suggested guiding the integration of knowledge about youth in the framework of a special science of juventology27. E. G. Slutskii and his colleagues28 are developing the same idea, although in some other interpretation. In the context of the integration of the modern humanitarian knowledge such a position is natural, though it is not essential, because any of the social sciences, which have no severe limits (as it was typical for the beginning of the 20th century) on an object, subject and method of investigation, can serve as the integral function in reference to problems of youth.

1.4 The Thesaurus Conception of Youth


The theoretical elaboration of youth problems, as we understand it, must chiefly follow the path of solution of a number of contradictions, which have been formed in the practice of empirical researches. It is also closely connected with the question about the sociological providing of youth policy, social and youth work and other theoretical scope of scientific knowledge about youth. Many attempts of Russian researchers are aimed at the development of a theory of youth, which would be more adequate to practical purposes. One of such theories is based on the thesaurus approach29. Within this theory, the youth is interpreted as a social group consisting of:


(1) People, who assimilate and appropriate a social subjectivity, have the social status of young people and identify themselves as being young;

(2) Thesauruses, which are prevalent in this social group;

(3) The symbolical and physical world, which expresses and reflects these thesauruses.


Such components of the concept and such a connection between them, which is understood as reflection of the social reality, change the very view on sociology of youth.

The thesaurus concept of youth gives an opportunity to make the ways of development of youth social subjectivity clear and find out its controversial traits both as an "objectivated" activity and in facts of self-consciousness, which perform an important regulative function.

The circumstance that institutionalized world is not much assimilated by a young person demands compensatory actions from himself, i.e. self-independent and predetermined interaction in peer group. Gradually he is familiarizing with area, rules, realities of this world. The mechanisms of this familiarization are construction and projecting of social reality. The constructions and projects of a young man can essentially differ from constructions and projects of a "responsible adult" (parents, teachers, etc.) and besides dynamically change. One of the peculiarities of youth milieu is combination of several thesauruses. It causes event-trigger hyperbolization of one of them, which is considered to be the most suitable in this particular life situation.

The general arrangement of social reality construction includes:

(1) adaptation for conditions of environment (trial and mistakes; recognition of parts of environment and rules; alteration of behaviour according to rules; understanding and legitimation of a part of environment through "our");

(2) completion of building of reality (symbolization through "good" and "evil", construction of symbolic universe; compensation for the inaccessible; activities for protection of "my world", separation of independence zone);

(3) restructuring of environment conditions (ignoring of unimportant; change of proportions and combinations according to thesaurus; action beyond "my world" in compliance with own symbolic universe).

These positions realize themselves as a factual result of vital functions and fulfillment of the project.

Reality construction is obvious in the actions of different youth groups. The aim is not to settle on these well discernible behavioural and symbolic complexes, which are quite often distinguished by an exterior observer with negative evaluative attitude. Activity of youth in social construction of reality constitutes the most important condition of its socialization and in this respect refers not to separate, but all youth communities.



In this monograph under the term "value orientations" we will understand the direction of a subject (personality, group, community) on the goals realized by him/her as positive and significant (good, correct, exalted, etc.) in accordance with accepted in society (community) models and available life experience and individual preferences. This direction is an aggregation of stable motives that lay in the basis of a subject's orientation in social environment and his/her evaluation of situations. It can be realized to a variable degree and expressed in facts of behaviour, faith, knowledge. It has a form of stereotype, opinion, project (programme), ideal, and world outlook. At the same time having directivity on accepted positive life intentions and purposes does not mean automatically active actions of a subject upon achievement of them in the reality.

The study on value orientations in Russia has been conducted from the middle of the 1960s when the theoretical works by a psychologist B. G. Anan'ev, sociologists A. G. Zdravomyslov, V. A. Iаdov and others appeared, as well as empirical studies. The biggest one was the sociological and social-psychological study on workers' value orientations (including young people), carried out by Leningrad scientists under the direction of V. A. Iadov30 in the beginning of the 1970s. During the Soviet time the study on youth value orientations to a considerable degree was directed toward the revelation of their accordance with the communist ideal, to the socialist lifestyle31. At the period of the Perestroika (1985-1991) the problem field was noticeably extended due to the studies on the informal youth associations (actually it was the way to the switch to study on the youth subcultures). Finally, during the last 15 years value orientations of the Russian youth have been investigated by considerable number of individual scholars and scientific groups. The situation of social order change and "re-comprehension of values" on the national scale has encouraged the scientists to interpret the transformation of value orientations of the Russians. The extensive study on dynamics of the value orientations of the Russians that was conducted under the direction of N. I. Lapin32 is of a great scientific significance. There have been dozens of empirical studies carried out in Russia for the last 15 years, several hundreds theses defended on the problem of the youth value orientation33. Although quite often the scopes of such studies, their methodical correctness and opportunities for the data comparison remain to be a subject of criticism.

We will consider the trends of changes in value orientations of the Russian student youth, which are stated on the empirical level. However, in the beginning we will define what the theoretical meaning of the study on the Russian youth value orientations is. Also we will specify what the essence of the value aspect of the youth studies is.

2.1 Values: problems of theory

In the conceptual dictionary for the humanities the term "value" was introduced by Rudolph Lotze. In his opinion, value exists only in its significance for a subject, but at the same time it is objective and possesses general significance for individuals. As H. Rickert explained, "Lotze wanted not only ‘calculate' the world, but also "understand" it34. In other words, in philosophy the new category was being linked with the problem of understanding. Lotze noted the ambivalence of value and its subjective and objective nature. In the following interpretations of this category the stress was laid sometimes on the subjectivity of value, sometimes - on its objectivity. The objectivistic interpretation of value was reflected in Gordon Allport's dispositional conception of person who elaborated "the test of values' study" in the 1930s-1960s. In the Russian sociological school the dispositive concept of personalities have been offered by V. A. Iadov and it is still accepted by many other researchers.

The works by O. G. Drobnitskii35 have had a considerable impact on modern Russian researchers of values and value orientations. Recently the traces of the approaches that were accepted in their time by the classics of the Sociological school of Chicago36 have been noticeable.

During numerous researches on values as a theoretical problem, scholars of different countries, representatives of various scientific schools have expressed many original ideas that allow us to speak of a high level of the elaboration of this matter. The development of the theory of values in modern Russia and in the world as well is expected to continue in the direction of preciseness. The life situation introduces this clarity into it when there are the period of transition and the birth of a new type of civilization - information-oriented. Also they expect the development towards applying of new scientific methods that are being shaped nowadays. In a number of cases it is necessary to follow the path of very general argumentation again in order to define the initial positions of the empirical study.

The specificity of the humanitarian knowledge37 presupposes that the used terminology will be submitted by some parameters to other rules in comparison with the terminology of so called exact sciences. At this point there is a possibility of polysemy of terms and, in addition, historical mutability of their content. Therefore, it is important to trace down the history of their origin and understanding in various scientific schools. In essence, in the most cases in the humanitarian knowledge a scientist deals not with terms, but with concepts, i.e. with words. In these words aside from a certain content of literal, lexical, figurative, cultural and philosophical meaning there is another image that appears in one's consciousness, and, in its turn, causes an emotional reaction. In contrast to terms, it is very difficult to translate concepts from one language into another. They bear imprints of language history and cultural history. This leads to difficulties in understanding of humanitarian concepts, which were created in different countries. The same concepts can be absolutely identical in diverse cultures seldom.

Exactly such a concept is the notion "value". In the Russian language it traces back to adjective tsennyi (‘valuable'), which is formed from the noun tsena (‘price'). The etymology of this All-Slavonic word can be determined in comparison with Avestian kaēnā - mest' (‘revenge'), originally it meant vozmezdie, vozdaianie (‘retribution, requital') (cf. verb kaiat'sia - ‘to repent'), then shtraf (‘fine') and finally - ‘cost of something'38. If we refer to the dictionary of V. I. Dahl that registers usage of the word "tsena" (‘price') and its derivatives in the XIX century, it becomes clear that word "tsennost'" (‘value') by those times had not yet occupied a noticeable place in the Russian language and is defined "kak svoistvo po prilagatel'nomu" (‘as characteristic on adjective')39.

In new European languages there are two meanings of the word value - as "cost" and as "concernment" - which are usually separated. Thus, in French there is a word prix - a price, worth (in meaning of the cost) and there is a word valeur, which was fixed in the texts for the first time in 108040, obviously, originated from the Latin word valeo - to be healthy, strong, mighty, which is used in the scientific texts in the meaning of "value". In English things looks the same: price and value (valuables). As well as it is in German - Kostbarkeit (the subject) and Wert (the concept). Though the English value and the German Wert can correlate with the meaning of ‘cost', usually they do so not in a direct, but in a figurative sense. Still, it seems unlikely that the Nietzsche's thesis about "revaluation of values" means the same what such a slogan meant in the Diogenes's times. The same motto pronounced in the Russian language and perceived by the Russian cultural thesaurus (ordered by the totality of social and cultural orientations) means something different. It should be underlined that even the most detailed explanations on their meaning in the first primary sources cannot conceal the fact that "value" is not a term, but a concept. So, on the emotional, almost unconscious level a representative of the Russian culture puts into this word a certain additional meaning, which is determined by the history of its existence in the Russian environment.

Even today as before the concept "value" is closely connected with the notion of price and payment. Its filling with a foreign philosophical content which comes from the West culture occurs without any support from the native scientific tradition of its interpretation. The Russian tradition of explanation of concepts in sociological sense has began to form only recently. This leads to the fact that Russian scientists in the field of the humanities accept those meanings, which at first was offered by different western scientific schools, and apply them for their needs very easily.

However, it is possible to emphasize a certain general meaning, which unites the initial centuries-old understanding of the concept "value" in the Russian culture and to some extent its scientific interpretation, which have appeared during the last decades: "value" is "something" what one cannot buy for money. If it is a thing then one does not grudge giving the required money for it. But if we are talking about people (parents, relatives, friends, beloved, heroes, idols, etc.) or concepts (Motherland, liberty, friendship, love, youth, health, art, science, etc.), in this case they belong to values if they are perceived as priceless, i.e. more significant than any money in the world. Finally, if money is understood as a value then it becomes priceless too and it loses the quantitative side.

These aspects will be taken into account for the generalization of the data we collected during the empirical researches.

2.2 Russian youth in the mirror of its value orientations


According to many conducted public opinion polls of the last 15 years they state in their conclusions that there is a general value-normative crisis concerning the Russian youth. This crisis consists in the revaluation of cultural, ethical and spiritual values of the preceding generations. The collected data is quite often interpreted as a breach in succession and sharing in the social and cultural experience from the senior generation to the following one41. These deductions reflect the situation of untimeliness in the first years after the collapse of the USSR. There was also a noticeable movement from the hard regulation toward the support for a free self-determination of a young person in the youth policy of this time. Eventually the youth policy in Russia degraded to the state when young people had to count on their own abilities and talents. The youth and the youth policy turned out to be on the periphery of the governmental interests. Russia during "Jeltsin's era" was simply not ready to respond to a great number of new economical, political and social challenges. The youth was left to the mercy of fate.

In this period the importance of integral values that gave the orientations to the youth in the Soviet time was falling drastically in the midst of the young Russians. For instance, according to the research data on the political culture of the Soviet youth that was conducted in 1984 under the direction of E. E. Levanov and A. I. Shendrik, from 60 to 84% of the young people (in different categories of the youth) considered Marxism-Leninism to be a solely authentic theory, which reflected the regularities of the development of nature, society and person. The major part of the Soviet young people who thought so according to the results of this public opinion poll were students, the creative intelligentsia and the young engineers. Five years later, the research data that A. I. Shendrik quotes showed that only 29% of the interrogated young people shared the same Marxism-Leninism ideology, 36% were agree with these ideals only to some extent, but 26% were convinced that this was a wrong statement42. Such drastic and sudden changes in the orientation complexes only partly reflect the transformation in the structure of values (which took place on the scale of the whole Russian society). In fact, the researches of the beginning of the 1990s reflect mainly the changes of value markers, in other words - concepts that were correlated with the common social norm. At the same time the basic values were being reproduced from generation to generation in sufficiently stable configurations.

The researches, including the Russian ones, have shown that with an extremely small share of young people who evaluate communism positively (this share was about 2-5%), the number of those who agree with the positions that are attributive to communism (the equality in the sphere of distribution and consumption, the applying the principle "from each according to the abilities - to each according to the needs", etc.) is much larger, in some cases ten times larger. Let us cite as an example the data of an All-Russian poll by the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (November 1997). Amongst the ideas that, in the opinion of the respondents, are able to unite the Russian society, only 1.3% of the interrogated mentioned communism (among the respondents at the age under 29-0.9%). Yet, 14.0% of the respondents (12.7% in the youth group) acknowledged the idea of the "equality and justice" that actually should be interpreted as a procommunist orientation (Informatsiia: rezul'taty oprosov, 1998). As it follows from the cited example, the reaction on the marker, which had been discredited by then in the Russian society and was expressed by the word "communism" might not reflect the expectations of the youth from the society and, consequently, the real value orientations of the young people.

Such indirect circumstances are important in the researches on value orientations of youth, which are evident in projective questions. The significant results are presented in the answers to the question on youth expectations from the future.

The empirical studies have shown that the majority of respondents counts on the chosen professional path, but believes that basically the choice of a working career will be imposed by the pragmatic approach. Such is, in particular, the research data of the public opinion poll conducted under the supervision of B.A. Ruchkin: 59.9% of the 17-year olds, 65.3% of the 24-year olds and 64.4% of the 31-year olds among the young Russian respondents acknowledged that the "handsome salary" was the decisive reason for the choice of their place of work.

However, only half of the respondents (50.5%) hoped to find a job without assistance. For a greater confidence in success with job hunting 51.4% of the young people were eager to get a higher education, 30.4% - to become proficient in foreign languages, 29.5% - in computers, 27.7% - to acquire the skills of work under the conditions of market economy, 14.6% - to get a legal training.

Every fourth young person among the respondents planned to open his own business after the graduation. The professions of a manager and a businessman were among the most prestigious occupations according to the views of the youth (16.6% and 27.7% correspondingly), however, this did not prevent 4.3% of the young Russians from the inclusion of gangsterism and racket into this list43.

Finally, the indirect data on the value orientations of the youth demonstrates the actual preferences of the young people more exactly than direct questions about their values. This, in particular, is related to the characteristics of the studied social group -- the youth. When we speak of the "value revaluation" then this is most probably the attitude of the adults who have already gained a certain life experience and have been subjected to the impact of socialization for quite a long time. Formation of value-normative system is more typical for youth. It means the action of another mechanism than in the situation of "value revaluation". In this case, the comparisons of value scales of different age groups (including youth), which are used in the Russian sociological school, give information on a variety of values that is shared in the Russian society, but they do not adequately fix the world of values and strategic preferences of youth.

In our researches on the student youth we study the value orientations on the basis of several indirect characteristics taking the fact that students undergo the active stage of their secondary socialization into consideration.

According to the definition by A. I. Kovaleva, socialization is a "process of formation and development of a person that consists in the mastering of social norms, cultural values and models of behaviour during the whole of his/her life, which allows to function in this given society"44.

This is a double-sided process. One of its sides consist in the fact that society constantly assigns an orientation of socially acceptable behaviour and thinking for a person in different forms, by different means and with various effects. The other side of the process of socialization is personal mastering of these organizing and orientating impulses that society initiates. The result of the socialization is resultant of many differently directed influences. Since we examine the period of life when people are getting education, we can speak only about a certain level of socialization. This level of socialization is exposed to changes because any educational system directly acts as an institute of socialization. Besides, the macro-social environment begins to exert greater influence on a person during student years. This macro-social environment begins to be realized as essential and as a source of orientations and regulator of the choice of an outlook on life. Therefore, in many respects value orientations will reflect the accepted in society life orientations, depend on an actual situation and change, sometimes significantly. At the same time value orientations are autonomous enough and can be reproduced from generation to generation not only in order of direct inheritance (through family), but also through mass media and network communication in various social communities45.

This, in particular, can be confirmed by the monitoring research "Russian Institute of Higher Education Through the Eyes of Students" (the project supervisor, I. M. Il'inskii; the supervisor of the IV-VI stages, Val. A. Lukov), which is conducted by Moscow University for the Humanities since the year 2000.

The purpose of this project is to reveal the important features of a new type of educational institutions for Russia - the nongovernmental institutes of higher education. In the course of the studies it was very important to found out what were the problems of this new subsystem of the Russian higher education, what it manages to obtain, where its unrealized resources are and what the prospects of its development are. Within the framework of the monitoring two groups of institutes of higher education were compared - State and nongovernmental. Both groups consist of the best Moscow institutes of higher education and institutes of more than ten other Russian cities in the closing stages.

The results of this research show that with all the difference between the students of the State and nongovernmental institutes of higher education their attitude to the studies, their satisfaction with the student life, integration in the life of his/her institute of higher education, the level of material well-being, belief on their future life prospects and plans and - what is important most of all - the basic values of the Russian students have a similar configuration.

This configuration is determined by the features of economical situation, by social and cultural processes and by public spirits in a country.

According to the research, which was not especially devoted to analysis of students' value orientations, we obtained a significant material for sociological generalizations.

The most important indicators were outspoken by the students in the form of answers table to the question: "What does a ‘good life' mean for you?"

In the research that took place in 2006 (N = 3261), the answers of the students were distributed in the following way (refer to table 1; the amount of the percent indices exceeds 100% since there was a possibility to choose several answers).

Table 1. Distribution of students' answers to the question: "What does a ‘good life' mean for you?" (%)


Higher Education N=1036


Higher Education (N=1926)


Institutes N=471


Institutes N=565





Institutes N=689


N = 3261

to be well-to-do






to have a good job






to have a good family






not to work at all






to possess power, to occupy a high position in society






to love and be loved






to be healthy






to live not for myself, but for other people






to have a good education






to feel itself safe and secure






to be independent, free






The achievement of material well-being is the most wide-spread value orientation in the student community. However, it does not close the belief about a "good life", in respect of which such values as a "good family" (73% in total), a "good work" (71%), health (71%), love (65%) are still quite significant too. These components form per se understanding of happiness of the contemporary youth and draw the picture of expected life quality in the future.

The tendency toward a spiritual side of their vital activities (family, health, love) is noted in the answers of the students from the regional institutes of higher education. At the same time, both groups have evaluated the factor of possessing political power as less significant.

Although, seemingly, the image of a rich chief especially in the regional understanding is still identified in mass consciousness with stability and prosperity.

Both groups of the questioned students strive for liberty and independence, safety and security. As regards to the question on altruistic beliefs - to live not for myself, but for other people - although they are present in the students' answers, but represent rather small group of the respondents.

Concerning of such values as labour and education a certain picture could be drawn by the data presented in the tables 2 and 3.

Table 2. Distribution of the student' answers on the question: "In your opinion, is it possible today to reach the top position in the society due to honest and conscientious work?" (%)












hard to tell








Table 3. Distribution of the student' answers on the question: "Is the higher education can be considered to be a life success warranty nowadays" (%)












hard to tell








In this case it is not values' denomination or their hierarchy what interests us the most, but rather the act of putting values into the context of the modern Russian reality. Eventually this seems to be the way to a more exact reflection of value orientations.

Similarly we consider the problem of patriotic values. We avoid the use of the word-marker "patriotism" and reveal the problem-solving situation in the collation of answers on the two following questions:

"Are you proud of your country?" and

"If they offered a profitable contract, which would propose leaving your Homeland for permanent residence abroad, would you agree?"

Essentially, the presence of many positive responses on the first and on the second question means the presence of a certain conflict in the value orientations (refer to tables 4 and 5).

Brought in the contexts of the present state of life quality in the capital and in the region and prospects for a realization of acquired education, it is possible to consider these answers to be the indicators of the patriotic spirits in the midst of the Russian students.


Table 4. Distribution of the students' answers on the question: "Are you proud of your country?" (%)


Higher Education


Higher Education






















hard to tell












Тable 5. Distribution of the students' answers on the question: "If they offered a profitable contract, which would propose leaving your Homeland for permanent residence abroad, would you agree?" (%)


Higher Education

Higher Education























don't know












The presented fragments of the research show that the students of all four groups of the institutes of higher education approximately to the same extent are divided in the expression of their own opinions, estimations, viewpoints, level of political activity, etc. It confirms once again that the generalizing word "student body" represents the reality in its exactness. Indeed, the 28 Russian institutes of higher education that were examined during the course of the research are very dissimilar to each other. But student community shows one very significant and firm trend: though there are presented miscellaneous, sometimes diametrically opposite standpoints, but in what that concerns the value orientations and social norms the distribution of answers mainly differs on the gender and age bases, on the specific features of professions they have chosen, in some cases depends on the territorial specificity (that is why we distinguish the city of Moscow from the rest of Russian regions) and almost is not connected with the legal status of a institute of higher education (State or nongovernmental). This is the question of vital importance for the Russian educational system: hitherto the public prejudice exists regarding the nongovernmental institutes of higher education.

If the students of Moscow and other regional institutes of higher education have differences in the value orientations then they are not exceeding the scale to speak of some significant gap between them and what actually separates the capital from the province. Patriotic aspirations are more typical for students from the regions as well as intentions to work in the professional field, willingness to wait for a job placement guaranteed by a native institute of higher education after the graduation, slightly higher level of optimism in the view on the future and others. But as a rule these differences are too insignificant.

To draw a conclusion it is important to mention that the researches of the Russian youth that have been carried out during the last decade show that even the new conditions in every day life have not caused a full rejection of the traditional Russian cultural and historical values of the preceding generations among the young people. Furthermore, it is possible to expect that in the situation of globalization and power of mass media, which reflects the dominant position of the American culture in the modern world and, certainly, has an impact on the Russian youth, the value system in the thesauruses of the young Russians must gain more autonomous nature. This is a form to express the efforts and possibilities of the Russians to defend their own identity.



The human being of the 21st century lives in the media space, which is his new habitat, the reality of the modern culture. Mass communication media has penetrated into the all spheres of life. Media has become the main mean of modern culture production and not only a transmissive mechanism. Media has begun to determine many parameters of society, industry, policy. The globalization of the information technologies' net has occurred. The Russian communication systems are gradually involving in it being assimilated.

The information boom, which has become reality of life of the Russian society, has led, on the one hand, to the inclusion of Russia in the global information space, which is one of the most major components of modern civilization, and on the other, it has become in many respects a defining factor in formation of young man personal characteristics among which system of value orientations plays the essential role.

Especially it is necessary to designate the importance of media for formation of social values of contemporary youth. Today mass media has become one of the social institutes, which influence the basic processes of society forming. It can be quite easily explained by means of thesaurus approach to socialization46.

According to this approach thesaurus is a peculiar organization of information of an individual, which is closely connected with his/her position in society both in macro and micro social spaces. Arising during socialization process a combination of elements (models of behaviour, aims, values, information, etc.) is built from fragments of thesauruses of significant others. These fragments bear traces of earlier thesaurus formations also apprehended from significant others of another generation. The general part of thesaurus fragments, from which individual thesauruses are actually being formed, is called thesaurus constructions. They can be compared with roots of words, which get exact meaning in a combination with other blocks (with prefixes, affixes, etc.)47. Concatenation of thesaurus constructions into thesauruses is caused by aims of orientation in socio-cultural space-time.

From the very first years of life human being falls into an information field created by a network of mass communications. Mass media includes all kinds of means of mass transfer of information streams functioning in globalized cultural space, in the information field, which is created with the use of new technologies. This information field unites socio-cultural meanings of its diverse elements. Because of that there is a problem of interference of information environment and system of values of a young man as a social agent.

3.1 The Importance of Video Culture in Socialization of Youth

The most significant part of information environment today is video culture. Various spheres of vital activity of youth - school and system of vocational training, youth centers, work and sphere of leisure - are included into the field of its influence. It becomes the most important agent of socialization and a powerful factor of value system formation.

The analysis of TV as a mean of reflection of the external world in the context of the modern theory is based on the thesis about conditionality of representation: all our attempts to represent the reality are determined by language, culture and ideology. If we agree that we perceive the world through systems of representations then the very raising of the problem of TV objectivity or subjectivity will change and instead of the question - "Do we learn the truth about the world watching TV?" - there will be the question: "How does it represent the world?"

The expansion of video culture sphere leads to the change of leisure structure of teenagers and youth. If in the recent past the culture institutions played a greater role both in socialization and training in creative activity and spiritually-aesthetic qualities of young generation then from the mid 1980s more opportunities for satisfaction of many cultural needs in house conditions began to appear. By the second half of the 1980s the changed living conditions have given basically recreational character to spare time. The mass media rushed powerfully into the sphere of leisure of youth, becoming its basic and structuring component.

In the study "Features of Labour Socialization of Teenagers" conducted by the Institute of Humanitarian Researches and the faculty of sociology of Moscow University for the Humanities48, the teenagers' answer distribution concerning spending of their spare time shows that the TV occupies one of the priority places.

The list of actions in the spare time is quite traditional for modern teenagers: 41.2% watch TV and video, 37.4% meet friends at home or at their apartment. Approximately equal parts (not much more than the third of the interrogated) spend leisure time in book reading, exercises and trainings in gyms, going to the cinema: 27% attend parties, discos, student clubs. Shopping and playing computers are activities of 25% of teenagers. Approximately a quarter of them "has their sleep out" at their spare time, and about 16% surf the Internet, "hang around" the streets. Almost the same number of them is engaged in self-education, go to the theatre, museum, library, 10.7% play on musical instruments. Lessons in theatrical circles, art and dancing studios, driving, motorcycling, bicycling; visiting sick relatives - these activities fill leisure time of less than 10% of teenagers.

There is an interrelation between belonging to an educational institution and a way of leisure spending. As a matter of fact, belonging to a type of an educational institution, as well as a kind of leisure, to some extent is the evidence of amount of teenagers' family income and value orientations, which are customary in them. Computer games as a form of leisure are more widespread among lyceum students (29.8%) and students of institutes of higher education (27.6%), then among pupils of colleges and schools. As to pupils of technical training institutions only 12.5% of them devote spare time to computer games, 6.9% of pupils of technical training colleges and 27.7% of lyceum students surf on the Internet.

Mass media are filling personal space of people in society more and more swiftly. Orientations to the opinions generated in mass media are spreading and the trust for its information and estimations is growing. To a greater extent young generation is subject to it. The All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center49 surveys show that as a whole the Russian mass media are estimated positively by the majority of the Russians (53%). At the same time the level of approval of mass media work is higher than of many state and public institutes (such as, for instance, the Government, the State Duma, the Council of Federation, political parties, law enforcement bodies). The interest in information and information-analytical broadcasting is keen enough. The third of the interrogated people (31%) watch TV news and information-analytical programmes on political themes daily. Approximately the same number of people (32%) watches them a few times a week. However there are not few of those (35%) who either watch these programmes occasionally or do not do it at all. As one would expect, these programmes arouse essentially deeper interest among respondents of the senior age groups and more passing among young people.

Nowadays one type of human being is finishing to exist and develop. The conditions for the formation of the type with another kind of mentality, spirituality and system of aesthetic values are appearing. Now they speak of "the second Copernican Revolution", which is connected with the penetration of "new technologies" into all spheres of social life. Under these conditions the purposes of upbringing of youth are directly related to the context of formation of a human being of the approaching culture and civilization. New forms of life, new experience in contacts in many respects are connected both with mass communication media development, which play a huge, even a leading role in the formation of value priorities and personal qualities of young generation.

3.2 Influence of Periodicals on Young Generation

Among all mass media of nowadays market of information services periodicals are the least popular among youth. Every tenth student approves that he/she does not take newspapers in his/her hands (except for a TV schedule); among schoolboys and schoolgirls this share is considerably larger. According to the sociological data 70-80% of young people look into newspaper articles casually, looking through the newspapers, which they have got accidentally. Probably their parents have subscribed to them or they find free copies in a café or in the underground waiting for a friend.

The reason of such a low popularity of periodicals lies in the nature of information channels and also in opportunities of information processing with the purpose to transfer a maximum of content, which may interest a listener, in the shortest possible time and also, it is desirable, with the use of proper means of attraction of consumers to the information flow. It is more convenient to gather social and political information from the TV screen. Glossy magazines tell more thoroughly and colourfully about cultural life and "high life parties". By separate estimates youth more likely will read "yellow press" than a serious political edition. As a bearer of operative information newspaper cannot compete with electronic mass media, besides (it is important for modern "running" youth) it is inconvenient for reading "on the move». As a rule magazine reading is superficial. They do not really read articles and interviews, but mainly scan them. Only a few can name the authors they are fond of. For the overwhelming majority of young readers journalism is nameless.

The ideal model of an edition for youth should contain the following basic thematic directions: social and political analytics; articles about job placement, dwelling, health (social block); information on clubs, cinema, concerts and books with brief summaries; cognitive materials (about countries, celebrities, events of the past); interviews with different heroes; crossword puzzles, humour; narrations, documentaries, artistic and imaginary literature (sentimental melodrama is in popular demand); criminal; sports; special advices to girls and young housewives; computer and automobile page; and, at last, something pathetic, "about eternal", "about meaning of life".

It is significant that female magazines are in the lead, 3/4 of girls read them, and schoolgirls are noticeably more active than female students. According to girls, young men are not averse to concern themselves with this sort of periodical press, but they hesitate to confess that they do. As a rule young men demonstrate indicative reading of computer and automobile magazines.

3.3 Mass Media Influence on Public Opinion Formation

By separate estimates mass media influence on the formation of "public opinion" is profound enough. E. Dennis assumed that "mass-media ‘forms' our thinking, ‘influences' on our opinions and aims, ‘pushes' us to the certain kinds of behaviour, for example, to voting for a definite candidate"50.

At the same time not all of researchers are assured of mass media power. The co-author of E. Dennis D. Merrill opposes to him: "Probably mass media possess force to focus our attention on certain things, but it is not that power which makes us act»51. Further he comes up with the following quite moderate estimation: "Mass media impact is more likely to point out what society should reflect on and not to tell what it should think of..." In other words, mass media power in many respects consists in determination of a corresponding "agenda" in a specific moment of time.

Mass media is capable of having a special impact on young generation under the formation of public consciousness. Here the main problems of young age - fear of loneliness; associates', parents', teachers', contemporaries' misunderstanding of teenagers; unrequited sympathy; inability to organize leisure time, to find an interesting pastime, activity - are the categories, which contribute to suggestibility. In adolescence there is a desire to create an "idol" and to imitate him/her entirely. Nowadays a young man - whose mentality develops in the information environment, i.e. not only under the influence of norms and values, taught in sphere of interpersonal contacts, but mainly because of various kinds of mass media - often turns out to be unable to get correct guiding lines in the flood of strongly awry information transferred by different channels of mass media. As the ideological vacuum exists an extreme partiality and discrepancy between information streams contributes to the fact that outlook of young men becomes less integral and appears to be more subject to manipulation, impact of propagation of false ideals and life values.

During last decades all over the world the interest in concepts of identification and identity has been more and more increasing. Identity is becoming a kind of prism through which many important features of modern life are examined, estimated and studied52. In this case we will discuss the Russian national identity.

According to theoretical notions, ethnic consciousness is a wider concept presented by a wider identification, including actually not only ethnic but also other forms of identification corresponding to relevantly existing objects of an ethnic reality: territorial, cultural, language, religious, ceremonial, racial, anthropological, psychological, etc.53 Among the parameters of community ethnic development there are race and biological (patrimonial roots), climate and geographical (historical territory), and social and cultural (national history, ethnic symbols of culture and religion, etc.) parameters, which are ethno-identification markers. "What does it mean to be a Russian today?" - such was the theme of the public essay competition among senior pupils, conducted in March-July, 2003 in Russia formulated. (The founders of the contest were the Committee of Culture and Tourism of State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Federal Russian National and Cultural Autonomy of Russia, the League of National Property Protection, the Russian Intellectual Club, the Russian Club of Art and Culture, "Natsional'naia gazeta" (‘National Newspaper'), the Regional Public Fund of Assistance to Russian Culture "Russian Fund". The essays of young authors in amount of 565 letters were sent to the contest. Among the examined questions concerning national identification the questions about distribution and formation of national culture were raised. In youth's opinion, mass media plays one of the key roles. In particular, mass media can be an effective weapon for obtrusion and formation of a general national idea in the attempt to unite a nation as well as it can unleash international dissention and form a negative image of a particular nation and even a country as a whole in the external world.

"It is impossible to allow propagation of radical ideas, which exalt one nation above another [...]" - Anna P. (Republic of Tatarstan) marks in the competitive essay. There are works in which authors think that "being born a Russian it is not only dangerous to walk on the earth [...] of ancestors, but fatally dangerous for Russianness has become the verdict which has been brought in by the forces of Evil [...] They write about that in newspapers and magazines, they talk about it on the radio [...] All these media persistently drum into heads of young people: it is the end of Russians!" (Irina S., Moscow region). Many authors write about the role of mass media and the influence of the West: "It is necessary not to imitate the West and its values completely as the main thing there is money" (Taras L. Shugan village); "[...] together with good patterns we adopt the bad ones in the West"; "TV - continuous violence, drugs, weapon. Children learn advertising slogans" (Anna P., Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan); "the aggressive attack of the blue screen" (Vera J., Birsk). But there and then they notice: "It is a difficult question: do we form the content of articles, reports of mass media or, on the contrary, they impose something on us, forcing us to change [...] Mass media, first of all, is oriented on our national features, at the same time it persistently makes the Russians to pay attention to the European measures and standards" (Darya S., Republic of Adygea, Maikop). By estimations of the Russian youth cultural models, which mass media demonstrates today, are imposed on Russia from outside. These models play a defining role in the formation of national identity of young Russians.

3.4 Youth and Mass Media: Bases of Trust

Practically all the conducted sociological researches, the purpose of which is determination of value orientations of the society and modern youth, consider the question of mass media impact on the formation of the system of their vital perception. The group of the most popular among youth topics, demonstrated by the means of mass media, has been empirically determined.

One of the topics is youth fashion. Popularization of shocking epatage fashion with propagation of various subcultures, styles for disco, unisex, tattoos. Further there is the topic of deviation and crime. Deviation is a way to leave the designated way, destruct a taboo and common norms of behaviour. The description of various kinds of crimes, obscene abusive language, etc. relates to it.

The next topic is drugs. It includes propagation of "madness", "extremenesses", extreme kinds of sport. Around a person a mythological cover forms. It promotes full loss of orientation in life. The verge between the real and the imagined becomes vague.

The topic of pop stars and pop music is also important. Advertising of a pop star, information on his/her fees, admirers, description of success, wealth, love affairs, reports about deviant acts. As image of a "star" among young people determines their deeds and lifestyle, it is clear what examples for imitation are imposed on them.

The topic of youth infrastructure and modes of entertainment (advertising of clubs, rock concerts, discos, mass holidays) completes the five popular among youth topics.

The results of interrogations of students54 show that representatives of the young generation estimate the role of mass media in formation of value system of youth critically. According to the research the share of Moscow students, who consider that publications of mass media cause sense of fear and vulnerability in the society, has grown from 64% up to 70%. From 50% up to 60% of students think that mass media evokes rage and aggression, from 23% up to 45% suppose that it induces to violence. Besides 65% of Moscow students accuse mass media of propagation of criminal slang and foul language, and 64% - of spreading of debauch and prostitution.

One of the hypotheses of the research was the assumption that students put not the equal degree of trust to various kinds of mass media, what can be proved by the data of 58% of the respondents who expressed confidence in mass media. The majority of the respondents could not answer unambiguously the question on trust to the information containing on the Internet (42.7% were at a loss to answer and 39.3% quite confide in the Internet). It can be explained by the fact that news and many other kinds of information published on the Internet pages often duplicate the information of printed press. The central purpose of the research was to find out which values propagandize mass media and on which values, in students' opinion, they direct the modern Russian youth.

To their understanding, mass media directs on the following values, which concern the group of values of common to all mankind character according to the degree of priority: beauty, life values, safety, peace and on the last place - health.

Among human interrelations' values students emphasize first of all value orientation on love, then on professional relations and friendship, as for marriage, in the interrogated people's opinion, mass media almost does not orient the modern youth on it at all. This fact has already been noted in several sociological researches, in which the authors mention that changes of youth views on love and marriage - made by the transformation of social and cultural norms and traditions - have essentially reduced the degree of parents' influence on the formation of their notions about these values while the role of mass media in this matter, on the contrary, is growing.

Among the values of person self-affirmation in society on the first place they note the value of material welfare, on the second - career, further - social prestige and social recognition. Practically nobody understands education as a value on which mass media directs its audience. Thus, by students' estimates, mass media claims that today in society much more often people are estimated not on the basis of the education they have acquired but of a successful career, material welfare, and social recognition. Mass media positions it as socially significant.

Among the values of self-realization of a person the leading one is active life, after it there are: independence, individuality, spare time. Mass media orientates students on creativity to a lesser degree.

As a result of the research the proposed hypothesis that among the value orientations, which are formed by mass media, in the students' opinion, on the first place there are values of self-affirmation and self-realization. Among the most prevalent value orientations in this list there is the value of material welfare: 70.7% of the interrogated students consider it to be a value, on which mass media orientates the Russian youth most of all. On the second place among the all options, which were offered - the value of career (61.3%). It is significant that education in comparison with the value of material welfare and career is the least widespread value. Besides, in the students' opinion, mass media urges students to be active, independent and special.

3.5 Priority Directions of National Policy

of Regulation of Mutual Relations between Youth

and Mass Media

During the last 10 years in Russia thousands of non-governmental broadcasting companies have appeared, almost in 600 cities there is a local TV station. The influence of private regional radio companies in youth information space has sharply increased. Now there are 652 radio companies registered in Russia (Ministerstvo obrazovaniia Rossiiskoi Federatsii, 2002).

Under the conditions of expansion of telecasting the radio has not only lost the audience, but has obtained a prospect for its development. Radiocasting has overtaken the TV in terms of programme differentiation intended for young listeners. Information and artistic broadcasting is, as a rule, no more than 15-20% of the general broadcasting time, the rest of the time is reserved mainly for musical and entertaining programmes.

Nowadays the need for legislative acts, which would regulate the correlation of news, entertaining, cultural and educational (domestic and foreign) programmes not only on the radio, but also on the TV, has increased.

The Government of the Russian Federation, the State Duma, the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the RF supported the offers of the television community to allot money for the financing of socially significant programmes of electronic mass media from the federal budget in 2000. In this time the system of grants for support of programmes for teenagers and young people was used for the first time in Russia. Paramount importance is attached to patriotic, juridical and educational programmes devoted to social problems - preventive measures against drug addiction, criminality.

Realization of the functions of youth world outlook formation by the means of mass media presupposes openness and availability of information. In the Russian Federation there are registered more than 350 periodicals for youth. The total circulation of these editions is up to 3 million copies monthly. Thematically the Russian juvenile and youth press has become more diverse, considerably more differentiated taking sex and age of the readers into account during the last decade. Newspapers and magazines for family reading intended for both teenagers and their parents have appeared.

At the same time at the modern Russian market of printed mass media for youth editions for entertainment prevail. Their cumulative monthly circulation is up to 75% of the circulation of all types of the juvenile and youth editions.

Besides in the editions, which are addressed directly to youth, the share of the publications peculiarly mentioning its age and social problems (especially in case of editions for teenagers of 14-15 years) is small. In the whole spectrum of the youth press the editions of training and cognitive content are poorly presented.

The former youth editions on the whole have become editions for all ages. The published materials are intended for readers of different age brackets.

The problem of information vulnerability of minors is acquiring an increasing acuteness. The number of the periodicals, which use materials of sexual content for commercial purposes, is growing impetuously. In several such magazines there is a direct abuse of interests of the youth. Hundred thousands of readers of these editions are involved in the turnover of the printed output of sexual content.

For the last decade the Russian teenage amateur press has been developing. This press exists officially. It is included in the mass media system and competitive. Its polygraphic level is often very good. It gives an opportunity for pupils and students to obtain journalistic skills. The most important thing is that it allows to express their opinion on an event and the present-day life.

3.6 Discussion

Mass media impact is so overall and all-purpose that, in some researchers' opinion, technological and social progress of a state, its position in the world economy and economical competitiveness, effective realization of a role in the international labour distribution and development of democratic institutes depend on it. Moreover, all these phenomena are accompanied by the formation of a new world outlook and a new world culture. In this sense mass media represents one of the main socializing institutes and is one the most accessible and influential mechanisms of personality formation. Evaluating the global influence on a person and opportunities for promotion of world outlook formation we consider it is possible today to compare the information technologies and mass media, first of all the TV, only with participation of family in socialization of a person. Youth is especially actively involved in this process.

Young men estimate their absorption in mass media as excessive, sometimes harmful. As the results of many sociological researches show the constant mass media reports on deviating from the norms common in the society phenomena and events presented, as a rule, sensationally, generate anxiety and fear of disturbance of a habitual world order, habitual current of life, fear of the place in the society and future, etc. in minds of readers, listeners, spectators. At the same time the facts indicate that the people, who too often resort to mass media services, have more negative aims and purposes concerning the world.

Thus, it is possible to speak about mass media as of an institute, which plays an important role in the system of formation and maintenance of not only numerous life processes and aspects of modern society, but also of its value structure. It is difficult to estimate the global role of information technologies in the personal socialization process and in the formation of value orientations unambiguously. All we can do is to establish the fact that any component, any function of mass media has both a positive and a destructive component. Accordingly mass media can promote both the integration of a society and its disorganization.



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On authors:

Valery Andreevich Lukov -- Vice-rector of the Moscow University for the Humanities, the Head of the Institute of Humanitarian Researches, Ph.D., professor, member of the International Academy of Science.

Vlаdimir Andreevich Lukov -- The Head of the Center of Theory and History of Culture, Institute of Humanitarian Researches, Moscow University for the Humanities, Ph.D. (phylology), professor, member of the International Academy of Science.

Nikolai Vladimirovich Zakharov -- Chief Scientific Research Worker and Responcible Secretary, Institute of Humanitarian Researches, Moscow University for the Humanities, Ph.D., Ph.D. (phylology), member of the International Academy of Science.

Vera Anatol'evna Gnevasheva-- The Head of the Center of Social Projecting of University Education and Sociology of Youth, Institute of Humanitarian Researches, Moscow University for the Humanities, Ph. D. (economics).



Oksana Olegovna Namlinskaia -- Junior Scientific Research Worker, Institute of Humanitarian Researches, Moscow University for the Humanities, Ph.D. (sociology).


Boris Nikolaevich Gaydin (transl.) - Moscow University for the Humanities.

Research series












Translation by B. N. Gaydin

Translation editing by N. V. Zakharov

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1 According to our classification. See: Kovaleva and Lukov, 1999.

2 To the description of the modern student body, 1911, and others.

3 Ariamov, 1928.

4 Zaitsev, 1926.

5 Kogan and Lebedinskii, 1929.

6 Makarenko, 1983.

7 Lukov Vl., Lukov Val., Kovaleva, 2006.

8 Zalkind, 1925.

9 Sotsiologiia molodezhi, 1996.

10 Kolkov, 1997.

11 Lisovskii, 2000; Volkov and others, 2001.

12 Sheregi and Arefiev, 2003; Actual problems of narco-situation in the youth milieu, 2004.

13 Karpukhin and Makarevich, 2001.

14 Kovaleva and Reut, 2001.

15 Zhulkovska, Kovaleva, Lukov, 2003.

16 Omel'chenko, 2004; Lukov and Agranat, 2005.

17 Cherednichenko and Shubkin, 1985.

18 Chuprov, 1992, 1994.

19 Filippov, 1989.

20 Semenova, 1998, Volkov and others 2001.

21 Lisovskii, 1968; Boriaz, 1973; Ikonnikova, 1974.

22 Kon, 1974.

23 Lisovskii, 2000.

24 Il'inskii, 2001; 2006.

25 Kovaleva and Lukov, 1999.

26 Chuprov, Zubok, Williams, 2001; Zubok, 2003.

27 Pavlovskii, 2001.

28 Slutskii, 2002; 2004.

29 Lukov, 2003.

30 Zhuravleva 2006, 22, 57.

31 Shendrik 1990.

32 Lapin and Beliaeva 1996.

33 The information on them could be found in: Zhuravleva 2006, 258-315.

34 Rikkert 1998, 336.

35 Drobnitskii 1967; 1970.

36 Thomas and Znaniecki 1918.

37 Gumanitarnoe znanie 2006.

38 Shanskii, Ivanov and Shanskaia 1961, 366.

39 Dal' 1955, 578.

40 Robert 1967, 1873.

41 Karpukhin 2006.

42 Shendrik 1990, 255.

43 Ruchkin 1998, 93.

44 Kovaleva 2003, 445.

45 Lukov Val. and Lukov Vl. 2004, 93-100; Lukov Val. 2006, 106-109.

46 Lukov 1999.

47 Lukov and Lukov 2004.

48 Trudovaia sotsializatsiia podrostkov: Po materialam sotsiologicheskogo issledovaniia, (2005).

49 Press-vypusk, 2004.

50 Dennis 1997, 139.

51 Merill 1997, 155.

52 Bauman 2002.

53 Hotinets, 2000.

54 Molodezh' i ee tsennostnye orientatsii (1999).