The October revolution of 1917 and its aftermath in the public perception of modern russians (experience in sociological measuring)


Gorshkov M.K.

Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia isras@isras.ru

Petukhov V.V.

Cand. Sci. (Philos.), Head of the Center for Complex Social Studies, Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia petuhovvv@mail.ru

DOI: 10.7868/S0132162518010026
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For citation:

Gorshkov M.K., Petukhov V.V. The October revolution of 1917 and its aftermath in the public perception of modern russians (experience in sociological measuring). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2018. No 1. P. 6-18




Abstract

The article analyzes historical memory of our society and level of actualization of the 1917 events in the Russian mass consciousness. Аuthors note a gradual shift in the once actual historical events to periphery of public attention against the background of new challenges and threats facing the country. A century of historical distance also entails reduction of public confrontation on this issue and promotes a more balanced view of complex and contradictory processes of national history. Yet, there remain concerns regarding possible revolutionary upheavals recurrence. One of the important features of our time, so the authors, is actualization of the interest of Russians not only for the past Russian and Soviet state, but also for their families life stories. The surge of interest for Russian history of the XX century in the context of family history is largely due to the rupture of the “living memory” during the previous decades. Today, according to the study, 50 to 60% of Russians do not know anything about their ancestors in the context of historic events of the twentieth century. In gеneral, Russians retain a positive attitude to the Soviet era, except for its revolutionary periods. Anti-socialist revolution of the late twentieth century is worth rejection more than a socialist one of the early century. With regard to ideological and political discourse of the Great October revolution and, above all, its revolutionary pathos, much sympathy among the modern generations of Russians it does not enjoy. Among the main historical lessons of the past century the leading position, in the opinion of our fellow citizens, is following: “Russia should live your life and go own way”, “the Reform of society must begin with Economics, not with politics”, “you can not change the life by the method of revolution.” The authors emphasize that the Russians’ critical attitude to the revolutionary transformation of society is not the same as their orientation to the stagnation. Russians are today afraid of change and radical breaks of habitual foundations of life, after which the country and its citizens do recover for years, if not decades. Simultaneously, there is a growing understanding that without a serious reassessment of the strategies and priorities that dominated in recent relatively prosperous decade, Russia will hardly be able to move forward.


Keywords
revolution; socialism; USSR; post-memory; historical lessons; family traditions

References

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Content No 1, 2018