Dynamics and factors of life satisfaction of russians (1997–2017)

Latova N.V.

Cand. Sci. (Sociology), Senior Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology RAS, Moscow, Russia myshona@rambler.ru

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162517120078
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Latova N.V. Dynamics and factors of life satisfaction of russians (1997–2017). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 12. P. 65-78


The basic characteristic of any society is the satisfaction of its citizens with their lives in general and its various aspects in particular. Based on the annual surveys (all-Russian sample involving at least 1600 persons per each survey) and the data of the Institute of Sociology monitoring (surveys are based on all-Russian sample involving 4000 persons and have been conducted twice per year since 2014), the paper provides an analysis of the crisis impact on life satisfaction of Russians. The article shows the evolution of total assessments of life satisfaction in 1997–2017 and determines the degree of satisfaction among the population of Russia, as well as the influence of socio-economic crises (2008–2009, and 2014–2016), analyses how life satisfaction is generally correlated with satisfaction in different spheres of Russians’ life. Such characteristics as «material well-being», «food» and «clothing», as well as «housing conditions» and «health status» are the key to the formation of this satisfaction. At the same time the satisfaction with life is the last thing connected with «the opportunity to realize oneself in the profession», «the opportunity to receive education and knowledge», «leisure opportunities», and «leisure opportunities during the holidays». The areas that are more stable and less susceptible to external influences are singled out: «relations in the family», «opportunities to communicate with friends» and «position (status) in society». The main conclusions are presented in the constructed models – in the «Good Life Model» and in the «Bad Life Model». These are the two diametrically opposite poles of life satisfaction, the first based on the modernist views and aspirations (a complex model of needs), and the second on the traditional views (the set of needs that is reduced to the task of survival). It is shown that «pulsation» (growth/reduction) of personal needs depending on the macroeconomic conditions is an effective socio-psychological mechanism that has long been established in the Russian culture and provides successful psychological adaptation of Russians to the crisis.

satisfaction with life; crisis; financial well-being; comfort environment; social ties; fruitful leisure; self-realization; «Bad life model»; «Good life model»


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