The article examines the recent ‘schism’ in Eastern Orthodoxy to show how religion and politics are strongly intertwined in disputes over territory and sovereignty. It argues that two logics are at play in this conflict: one grounded in the theological‐political concept of ‘canonical territory’, the other in the notion of ‘communion’ at the basis of the Christian fellowship. The first is deployed in claims for national sovereignty as well as imperial domination, while the latter can make or break communities of faith. Drawing a parallel between the post‐socialist revival of religion in Ukraine and the current mobilization on the ground, it shows how these contradictory logics shape the fate of people, churches and states.
In practice, the critical step in building machine learning models of big data (BD) is costly in terms of time and the computing resources procedure of parameter tuning with a grid search. Due to the size, BD are comparable to mesoscopic physical systems. Hence, methods of statistical physics could be applied to BD. The paper shows that topic modeling demonstrates self-similar behavior under the condition of a varying number of clusters. Such behavior allows using a renormalization technique. The combination of a renormalization procedure with the Rényi entropy approach allows for fast searching of the optimal number of clusters. In this paper, the renormalization procedure is developed for the Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) model with a variational Expectation-Maximization algorithm. The experiments were conducted on two document collections with a known number of clusters in two languages. The paper presents results for three versions of the renormalization procedure: (1) a renormalization with the random merging of clusters, (2) a renormalization based on minimal values of Kullback–Leibler divergence and (3) a renormalization with merging clusters with minimal values of Rényi entropy. The paper shows that the renormalization procedure allows finding the optimal number of topics 26 times faster than grid search without significant loss of quality.
In this article we analyze the independent Tatar rap scene in two relevant contexts: the globalization of this musical culture, and the post-Soviet nation-building efforts in the Republic of Tatarstan (Russian Federation). Having analyzed 29 in-depth biographical interviews with young rap scene participants and diary entries obtained in the course of a one-month-long participant observation, we conclude that the Tatar rap scene is a special case in the Tatar urban youth culture shaped by the younger generation of Tatar-speaking intelligentsia (humanities graduates and creative professionals) in opposition to both the cultural policy of Russification of the imperial center (Moscow) and the folklorized version of the Soviet Tatar culture.
There has been a recent upsurge of interest to the Krushchev’s Thaw as not only the period of ideological liberalization, but also as a moment of broadening and deepening of social control. Yet the primary Soviet institution responsible for the social control of children and adolescents, the school, has been largely overlooked in this respect. In this paper I position the school disciplinary practices of the Thaw in the context of the high‐profile discursive and institutional trends of the epoch, including hooliganism, obshchestvennost’, and outsourcing of social control to vigilante brigades and comrades’ courts. The data come from a case study of documented disciplinary action in one rank‐and‐file school in the town of Toropetz in 1953–68. The part played by the school in the ensemble of formal and informal institutions that regulated adolescent behavior is analyzed by the systematic inquiry into the accusations worded, punishments meted out, and references to other institutions made in the disciplinary records. I argue that one of the effects of the broadening of horizontal supervision during the Thaw was a more pronounced in‐school disciplinary reaction to the out‐of‐school infringements. Seeing the school as the primary institution to exert peer pressure on the adolescent and his parents, as obshchestvennost’, the teachers felt the urge to duplicate the functions of the official penal system by their own quasi‐judicial disciplinary procedures.
The article deals with the analysis of foster parents discursive practices of making family. The approach to family as a discourse is used for the theoretical conceptualization of parental narratives about fostering. Foster parenthood is understood as a discursive construction, which contains normative beliefs about fostering, motives of decision about fostering, and descriptions of foster care practices. The empirical base of the research consists of texts of 469 diaries of foster parents, collected in frame of the all-Russian competition of foster families diaries “Our stories” (Elena & Gennagy Timchenko Foundation, 2015–2017). The biographical narratives were analyzed in two levels: 1) normative commonly shared beliefs about family and fostering; 2) individual strategies of narrative identity construction. As the result of analysis three main meaningful elements of parental individual narratives were found: 1) discourses about what is foster parenting; 2) justification strategies of decisions about foster parenting; 3) descriptions of making family practices. The general outcome of the article is the conclusion that making family is performed on the level of individual believes about what family and parenting are. The specific history of family relations and interactions between family members influences the making family process. All these individual discursive practices are inscribed in a broad socio-cultural context of normative beliefs.
Since the beginning of the 2000s, subjective well-being of the Russians was growing due to growing incomes and strengthening optimism about the future. However, the worsening economic situation following the crisis in 2008 did not cause the expected fall in subjective well-being rates. One plausible explanation is the growth of national pride. In this paper, it is tested whether or not national pride positively and causally affect happiness and life satisfaction of Russians. Possible compensatory properties of national pride — its hypothetical stronger effect for individuals with low incomes and poor health — are also being investigated.
Data: integrated database of the World Values Survey and the European Values Study containing survey data for Russia from 1990 to 2017. Methods: linear regression with instrumental variables. Results: the effect of national pride on subjective well-being is positive and statistically significant (β = 0.26, p-value < 0.001), the effect persists while using instrumental variables (β = 0.92, p-value < 0.001); the effect is stronger in the period after 2008, as well as for people with low incomes.
Migration is an important and rapidly growing phenomenon in the modern world. Many countries are facing problems with integration and adaption of migrants to new living conditions. Subjective well-being (SWB) can be considered as an indicator of how successfully migrants are adapted and integrated into the host society. Levels of migrants’ SWB are often determined by the same factors as for other people—good health, high salary, employment and youth make them happier. Nonetheless, migrants’ decision to migrate is often led by economic motives, which leads them to overvalue economic characteristics of countries and regions of destination and undervalue non-economic factors. This paper aims to estimate the effects of the economic prosperity (measured by gross regional product) and social capital of Russian regions (measured by general social trust and relative size of the community of the migrant’s compatriots)
on the life satisfaction of migrants. In addition, we analyze possible effect of the inclusion of the migrants’ country of origin into Eurasian Customs Union. To answer the proposed questions we employed data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey—Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) and statistics provided by Russian Federal State
Statistics Service. The main method of analysis is a cross-classified multilevel linear regression modeling. The results show that the economic performance of a region has no effect on the life satisfaction of a migrant. It appears that social factors play a greater role—the effects of general social trust and the relative size of the community of a migrant’s compatriots in a region are positive and statistically significant. We found that inclusion of the country of migrants’ origin into the Eurasian Customs Union positively and significantly affects the life satisfaction of migrants. We associate this effect with a decrease in the economic and psychological costs of migration.
Although conflict representation in media has been widely studied, few attempts have been made to perform large-scale comparisons of agendas in the media of conflicting parties, especially for armed country-level confrontations. In this paper, we introduce quantitative evidence of agenda divergence between the media of conflicting parties in the course of the Ukrainian crisis 2013–2014. Using 45,000 messages from the online newsfeeds of a Russian and a Ukrainian TV channels, we perform topic modeling coupled with qualitative analysis to reveal crisis-related topics, assess their salience and map evolution of attention of both channels to each of those topics. We find that the two channels produce fundamentally different agenda sequences. Based on the Ukrainian case, we offer a typology of conflict media coverage stages.
Russia has a widespread injection drug use epidemic with high prevalence of HIV and HCV among people who inject drugs (PWID). We conducted a mixed methods study of young (age 18-26) hard drug users in St. Petersburg. Thirty-nine structured and 10 semi-structured interviews were conducted. No HIV cases and two HCV cases were detected among the PWID subsample (n=29). Amphetamine and other stimulants were common (70%), opioid use was rare and episodic. Consistent condom use was low. No PWID reported syringe-sharing, 51% reported other drug paraphernalia sharing. Contacts with older (30+) PWID were rare. A new cohort of drug users in St. Petersburg may have emerged, which is much safer in its injection practices compared to previous cohorts. However, risky sexual practices of this new cohort may expose them to the possibility of sexual transmission of HIV and widespread drug paraphernalia sharing to the HCV epidemic.
During the nineteenth century, German philosophy developed from a type of general knowledge to an academic discipline at the university. Changes across disciplines to the philosophy of science and psychological surveys created new challenges for the place and purpose of philosophy in the educational system. The content of logic courses for secondary schools (Gymnasiums) was centred on the dissociation of nature and the scale of logic.In this paper, I will examine a number of projects for teaching philosophy at the secondary school level from new humanism to reduce philosophical to philological concerns about different projects offered by Niethammer, Hegel and Herbart. Then, I will focus on the most successful – Adolf Trendelenburg’s Elements of Aristotle’s Logic (1st edition of 1836). This work is a compilation of the logical texts of Aristotle, and for as long as sixty years, it was an official textbook in Prussian secondary schools. The aim of the paper is to show how the rethinking of Aristotle’s heritage affected the theoretical and ideological expectations of propaedeutic courses and transformed the image of logic as a philosophical discipline.
Due to weak state and administrative capacity, the Russian government has involved resource-rich non-state actors into policy-making since about 2005 and established numerous institutionalized platforms, networks, and forums. These networks mainly emerge on regional and local levels and are designed to generate policy advice, implement decisions, and contribute to output legitimacy. A crucial question is how the authorities govern and regulate these bodies under the terms of a hybrid regime. The paper sheds light on why and how state authorities interact with non-state actors and unravels functions and flavors of governance networks in Russia. Drawing on the empirical results of case studies on anti-drug policy conducted in the regions Samara and St Petersburg, the paper reveals that state dominance within networks is a significant characteristic, although authorities rarely apply explicit ‘hard’ tools of government onto collaborations with non-state actors. The paper also allows for theorizing on the role of governance networks in a hybrid regime.
In this paper, drawing on empirical evidence from Russian society, the authors seek to analyze the ways in which ordinary people can overcome a perceived gap between “high” politics and their everyday experiences. We argue that the concept of everyday politics is not enough to prepare the ground for politicization in everyday life, at least in highly dismantled society. In examining ethnographic case studies of people who consider themselves apolitical, the paper introduces the concept of “pragmatic politics,” which is defined as an activity of inscribing the broader world within the sensitive everyday experience. The examined case studies speak to four different modes of everyday politics that reveal various modalities of pragmatic politics.
This chapter draws some conclusions about distinctive features of post-Soviet creativity, looking at the example of the career trajectories and professional identities of recent creative graduates from Moscow and St. PetersburgThe emerging Russian contemporary art industry, in transition from the Soviet cultural monopoly to the market economy, has not yet established standards of cultural production. Until then, the organisation of creative work involves negotiation and experiment in an ideological battlefield where neoliberal creative entrepreneurialism and the principles of Soviet bureaucratic organisation can meet, accompanied by the heroisation of labour. Conducted in Moscow and St. Petersburg from 2013 to 2017, the study is based on 61 in-depth interviews with young curators, art managers and visual artists. It reveals that at least two cultural systems, based on different set of skills and promising different forms of rewards, are active in Russia at the same time. Thus, to gain access, creative graduates should be qualified in both and must be capable of switching fluently between the two systems.
This volume constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Digital Transformation and Global Society, DTGS 2019, held in St. Petersburg, Russia, in June 2019.
The 56 revised full papers and 9 short papers presented in the volume were carefully reviewed and selected from 194 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on e-polity: governance; e-polity: politics online; e-city: smart cities and urban planning; e-economy: online consumers and solutions; e-society: computational social science; e-society: humanities and education; international workshop on internet psychology; international workshop on computational linguistics.
In his paper establishing the foundations of omnivorousness theory, Richard Peterson suggested that the system of tastes is organised as a pyramid “with one elite taste at the top and more and more alternative forms at about the same level as one moves down the pyramid toward its base”, with tastes at the bottom “mark[ing] the status boundaries between taste groups defined by age, gender, race, region, religion, lifestyle” (1992, p.254). Whereas high-status individuals are likely to consume a few genres at all levels of the taste pyramid, low-status ones tend to patronise only one genre situated at the bottom. One of the predictions following from this model concerning the omnivorounsness of privileged groups has been tested in numerous studies, but the thesis of low-brow tastes having stronger structural embeddedness has been researched much less extensively. If Peterson is correct, we should find that the consumption of high-brow objects strongly correlates with status characteristics such as education where the consumption of low- and middle-brow does not; by the same token, the consumption of low-brow objects would correlate with gender, age, ethnicity, or other groupings where the consumption of high-brow objects does not. In this paper, we use a dataset from a St Petersburg public library system to analyse 1 300 000 book choices of over 100 000 readers to find out whether these predictions hold. We find that there is indeed a strong negative correlation between the attractiveness of authors for predominantly educated readers and the gender and age specificity of their audience. We discuss three possible theoretical explanations of this finding which can be discerned from the literature: (1) “group” and (2) “grid” interpretations, using the terms from Mary Douglas’s cultural theory, and (3) the opposition between relaxational and self-cultivating usages of culture. We argue that the particular differentiation pattern speaks against the “group interpretation” prevalent in other literature.
Beginning in the early 1920s, Bolshevik leaders proclaimed the need to radically revise the pre-revolutionary legacy of children’s literature and to create new Soviet books for children. In our paper, we seek to disentangle what factors played a role in the chances of legacy authors and works to be included in the limited selection of appropriated children’s classics by the 1930s. Based on thе comprehensive bibliographic data on books for children printed between 1918 and 1932 along with several authoritative Soviet sources recommending books for children, we use statistical modeling to assess what authorities effectively served as a kind of “security certificate” protecting certain authors and books from the default purge policy. Our results indicate that inclusion in the 1923 Narkompros list of authors whose work was pronounced a state monopoly, as well as inclusion in the Gorky’s list of books suggested for his “World Literature” publishing house both had a significant positive effect on the number of printings by the given author. Contrary to our expectations, the popularity of the author in the pre-revolutionary anthologies for children did not promise any significant publishing growth prospects in the 1920s and early 1930s.
Topic modeling is a popular approach for clustering text documents. However, current tools have a number of unsolved problems such as instability and a lack of criteria for selecting the values of model parameters. In this work, we propose a method to solve partially the problems of optimizing model parameters, simultaneously accounting for semantic stability. Our method is inspired by the concepts from statistical physics and is based on Sharma–Mittal entropy. We test our approach on two models: probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (pLSA) and Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) with Gibbs sampling, and on two datasets in different languages. We compare our approach against a number of standard metrics, each of which is able to account for just one of the parameters of our interest. We demonstrate that Sharma–Mittal entropy is a convenient tool for selecting both the number of topics and the values of hyper-parameters, simultaneously controlling for semantic stability, which none of the existing metrics can do. Furthermore, we show that concepts from statistical physics can be used to contribute to theory construction for machine learning, a rapidly-developing sphere that currently lacks a consistent theoretical ground.
This paper investigates to what extent activity of a social movement on a social networking site is related to participation in offline collective action. Through this research, we seek to contribute to a broader theory of effective communicative structures of social movements. We use the data of roughly 12,000 individuals from 17 online groups representing the branches of the ‘Observers for Fair Elections’ movement in 17 districts of St. Petersburg, Russia, and compare their online properties to real offline participation of movement members in elections in the role of electoral observers. We find that while prediction of individual offline participation with this online data is of limited power, association between district participation rates and online group features is very strong. Large, more inclusive and evenly connected networks, where people are engaged in high-threshold online activities, produce more offline participants; weak individual-level prediction, combined with strong group-level prediction, suggests either the presence of the ‘network effect’ or of third factors – such as prior contentious experience or the effect of leaders.
This article considers the “territoriality” of civic institutions. Is the “frontier thesis” – according to which areas of new settlement exhibit higher levels of individualism, political activism, and civic organisation – a description only of the western United States, or is it a manifestation of a more generalisable phenomenon found in other global frontier regions? In order to do this, we examine data on the nature of civic institutions in frontier zones in four countries: Brazil, Russia, Canada and the USA. Taking a wide range of survey items, we find that voluntary activity, social trust, tolerance of outgroups, and civic protest are not unique to the American historical experience, but generalised legacies of frontier life. We suggest that the experience of settlement is conducive to the formation of norms of community solidarity and cooperation, and this observation should encourage a new wave of comparative frontier studies.