Socio-economic crisis in Russia:
problems of the population and “pockets of concern”


Lezhnina Yu.P.

National Research University Higher School of Economics; Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia lezhnina@list.ru

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For citation:

Lezhnina Yu.P. Socio-economic crisis in Russia: problems of the population and “pockets of concern”. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 10. P. 54-65




Abstract

Based on the data of national representative monitoring survey carried out by Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Science in 2014–2016 the article analyzes main problems faced by Russian population in current socio-economic crisis. It is demonstrated that deterioration of financial situation was the key problem of Russians. It caused appearance of so called “pockets of concern” and can arguably stimulate social tension in future. Structural positions of unskilledworkers are the most possible centers of these “pockets of concern”. At the same time 20 per cent of Russians demonstrate stability of their social positions and face no necessity to cope with any economic difficulties. They form a kind of “stability zone” against the backdrop of a general deterioration in the material situation of the population. Territorial analyses (as much as the data permitted) show appearance of “risk zones” and “zones of stability” associated with in-/ stability of socio-economic status of the population and its in-/ability to solve financial problems. In 2015 the “risk zones” were relatively more common. They resulted from both (1) population being not capable to respond to the challenges of a nationwide crisis and (2) unsolved local institutional problems. Representatives of the “risk zones” were not only anxious and irritated by current reality, but see negative dynamics in different aspects of life from economics to morality. They also did not trust state authorities, including the head of the country. A low level of confidence in the authorities causes additional risk of “pockets of concern” formation. Social protests are most likely to occur when financial problems overlap with distrust to the authorities. Primorsky Kray and Moscow Region exemplify most dangerous “pockets of concerns”.


Keywords
socio-economic crisis; problems of the population; quality of life; “pockets of concern”; social tension
Content No 10, 2016