Dynamics of the “image” of the past and present in the representations of people from Saint-Petersburg

Sikevich Z.V.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnic Sociology, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia sikevich@mail.ru

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Sikevich Z.V. Dynamics of the “image” of the past and present in the representations of people from Saint-Petersburg. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 3. P. 88-97


In the article symbolical representations of St.-Petersburg people of Soviet and contemporary societies are considered, which were gathered by associative method and content-analysis. Data of 1996 and 2014 polls are compared, allowing to reveal dynamics of representations and maintenance of an image of the present. Conditionality of concepts and estimates is discovered to be due to the factor of belonging to generation of “Soviet people”, “Soviet children”, “post-Soviet people”. Special attention is paid to impact of Crimea return to Russia on the perception character of modern Russian society and state. The study found that Soviet society is seen to be generally better than the society of today. Assessment of society affects assessment of the people. If the Soviet man has pre-dominantely positive qualities, modern people feature negative qualities. Overall assessment of prevailing concepts is especially characteristic for the youth. Respondents do not see any difference between concepts of society and the state which is typical for traditionalist perception of the world. It was also found that perception of Soviet society is in 2014 subject to mythologizing due to the prevalence among respondents of those with no experience of life in the USSR who tends to evaluate it basing on indirect sources.

symbol; associative method; modal association; content analysis; social representation; social time; image of Soviet time; image of modern time; sample; age factor; generation
Content No 3, 2016