Patriotism of Russians and patriotic education in modern Russia

Patriotism of Russians and patriotic education in modern Russia

Sanina A.G.

St.-Petersburg School of Social Sciences and Humanities, National Research University Higher School of Economics, St.-Petersburg, Russia

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Sanina A.G. Patriotism of Russians and patriotic education in modern Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 5. P. 44-53


The article analyzes modern trends of Russian patriotism from the point of view of global context of patriotic education, civic education and nationbuilding. The author cites the all-Russia polls and the results of the sixth WVS wave (2010–2014). She also demonstrates results of an empirical study using the method of content analysis Atlas.ti. The study covers eight strategic documents of patriotic education of the United States, Singapore, China and Russia. Key findings from the study are: (1) The abrupt nature of the Russian patriotism shows that external events play a major role in its formation rather than public policy. Consolidation of the Russian society is not realized through cultivating of positive patriotic values, but on the basis of negative factors. Their influence can only lead to a blind, but not to the constructive patriotism. (2) Russian program documents emphasize militarist bias of patriotic education, and this is evidently blurring legal and theoretical basis of patriotism formation in Russia. Patriotic education cannot exist for its own sake. Also, it can only develop emotional components of state identity. This prevents formation of constructive patriotism and cultivates such qualities as unconditional love for the homeland, convinced devotion to public authorities, unquestioning positive evaluation of government structures, rejection of critical evaluation, readiness to defend the state up to the sacrifice. (3) There is a need to harmonize the “official” definition of patriotism with the concepts of civic education and nation-building. Patriotism can be regarded as love for a country, devotion to the state expressed in knowledge of historical and contemporary achievements of the country, free support of spiritual and moral values, manifestation of citizenship based on the active participation in civil society, constructive criticism of the government and expression of one’s point of views. Such definition of patriotism integrates emotional relationship of the citizen to the country, state, civil and national identity. It emphasizes importance of the traditions and values, and creates a construct of active and free social behavior without infringing alternative values, traditions and attitudes existant in the world.

patriotism; patriotic education; civic education; nation-building; public policy; government program; Atlas.ti
Content No 5, 2016