Ten Years of Reforms in Russia as Seen by Her Citizens

Today, in St. Petersburg, at the Rosbalt News Agency, the seminar-presentation 'Ten Years of Reforms in Russia as Seen by Her Citizens' will be held. A report will be contributed by the Moscow Institute of Complex Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences and by the Russian Independent Institute for Social and National Problems. It contains data as to how Russia's citizens view the reforms of 1991 through 2001. The report is based on the data obtained in the course of the all-Russian sociological research, which allows making rather optimistic forecasts as to the development of public consciousness in Russia. For instance, in 1998, 63.9% of Russia's population believed Russia headed up a blind alley, just 34.3% saying the course might lead to positive results in perspective. In the year 2001, the ratio was reversed, 58.7% of all respondents seeing positive developments in perspective, just 38.9% believing the country was moving nowhere.

To the authors of the report, one of the principal positive tendencies is the strengthening of the middle class. They believe, membership in the middle class is decided, so far, not as much by material status as by values and social orientation, such as flexibility, adaptability and self-reliance. The authors point out that there are two basic value models in Russia, 25% to 30% of her people belonging to the post-industrial individualistic group, 30% to 40% forming the patriarchal-collectivist group, the rest still not settled anywhere.

The format of the seminar allows for the wide participation in the discussion of St. Petersburg sociologists who are free to either add to or disprove the conclusions of their Moscow colleagues. The seminar-presentation has been prepared by the Rosbalt News Agency, the representative office of the Fredrick Ebert Foundation in Russia and the VSB Plus company.

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