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Sociology
Consumerist culture, the marital market, mass media and the entertainment industry all impose stringent standards on the female body—it has to be sexy, healthy and thin. Young women’s obsession with the slim body ideal supported by social networks can indicate serious neurotic disorders. Some online pro-anorexia groups of high school and college students romanticise excessive weight loss and take pride in using their willpower to suppress their appetite, found researchers Darya Litvina and Polina Ostroukhova of the HSE branch in St. Petersburg.
Russians would like their children to value achievement and wealth more than they themselves do. This stems from the reality and norms of modern life, Maxim Rudnev and Alexandra Savelkayeva from HSE’s Laboratory for Comparative Studies of Mass Consciousness noted in a study on intergenerational value transmission.
The mania for a slim body and a phobia of obesity, an obsession with their bodies, constant reflection about their looks and following the ideals of ‘model’ slenderness are the specifics of body culture in the consumerist society, which are widespread among young people, according to Yana Krupets and Nadezhda Nartova, researchers at the HSE Centre for Youth Studies in St. Petersburg.
Attitudes towards family and sexual norms vary widely across the former Soviet Union republics. At the country level, economic development and the level of religiosity both help to determine attitudes, while age plays an important role at the individual level. Middle-aged people tend to be more liberal than those who are older or younger, according to a study conducted by Sofia Lopatina, Veronica Kostenko, and Eduard Ponarin of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg.
Followers of older, more established religions are less likely to commit suicide than adepts of newer faiths. Factors influencing the risk of suicide include a feeling of isolation from the majority and a belief in life after death, according to a study by Eduard Ponarin, Director of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg, and Vassily Usenko, M.D., Ph.D., from Dnipropetrovsk
Most research into social change limits itself to social factors causing change. However, other factors, such as natural disasters, climate and geographical peculiarities of the particular place, or infectious diseases also have a significant impact on societal evolution
In the past year, 57% of adult Russians have donated money to charity or to strangers in need. Health, religion, disaster relief, and orphanages were the most popular causes, according to Irina Mersiyanova, Director of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector, and Irina Korneyeva, researcher with the same Centre
The values of migrants in Europe are more affected by their host country than by the country where the migrants were born and raised. In other words, the sociocultural environment migrants live in changes their value systems, Maksim Rudnev, a Senior Research Fellow in HSE’s Laboratory for Comparative Studies in Mass Consciousness, said in the study ‘Value Adaptation among Intra-European Migrants. The Role of Country of Birth and Country of Residence’
Poverty in Russia is particularly difficult to overcome since it is very heterogeneous. The Russian poor include groups as diverse as villagers who do not seem to fit into the post-industrial environment, low-skilled workers, university professors, and parents of young children. Each category of the poor requires a separate approach and a different type of state support, according to HSE Professor Nataliya Tikhonova and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Vasiliy Anikin
The 2008-2009 financial crisis could have affected people's values; however, researchers have not yet found any such changes in Europe. A study by Maksim Rudnev and Vladimir Magun of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Studies in Mass Consciousness and Peter Schmidt, former head of the HSE's Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research, suggests that the recent financial crisis may have a delayed effect on society's values
Most Russians are confident that they only consume legally-produced spirits. The proportion of Russians who consciously purchase counterfeit or bootleg liquor remains relatively small. However, the percentage of those who are either unsure that their drink is the genuine article, or who don't care whether it's fake or genuine, is relatively high. This is what Senior Research Fellow at the HSE's Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology Zoya Kotelnikova found
Not all consumers want to buy things at a discount. Many people prefer expensive stores to discounters since the purchase price of a good can demonstrate that the buyer belongs to a particular social group or to a particular community of buyers, Elena Berdysheva, a Senior Research Fellow in HSE’s Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology, said in the paper ‘What Do We Know about Consumers’ Price Perception? Research Findings of Studies in Sociology and Marketing Science’