Trauma as deformation of evolutionary and revolutionary ways of development (a sociological theorizing)

Trauma as deformation of evolutionary and revolutionary ways of development (a sociological theorizing)

Toshchenko Zh.T.

Corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences, Scientific Director of the Sociological Faculty of Russian State Humanitarian University, Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Toshchenko Zh.T. Trauma as deformation of evolutionary and revolutionary ways of development (a sociological theorizing). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 4. P. 16-26


Usually, scholarly analysis of the world/state/society proceeeds along well-known paths – revolution/ evolution. This article argues that in the modern world there is such a specific phenomenon as societies of trauma. In author’ opinion, these countries are for a long time stagnating and/or degraded in their development, they are in recession losing previously achieved milestones. The article discloses generic and specific features of the trauma of the society: 1) lack of precise and clear development strategy and understanding of the development prospects; 2) economic degradation; 3) lack of constructive political forces; 4) mutual transitions of power resources into capital and vice versa, capital into power resources; 5) withdrawal, both voluntary and forced, of the majority of active population from participating in political life; 6) absence of a state ideology and/or national idea; 7) ignoring national interests, or, on the contrary, their excessive absolutization; 8) a sharp increase in social inequality; 9) political strain and loss of desire for national sovereignty; 10) lack of respect for traditions and the past experience of the country or, conversely, archaism of pre-existing, gone into oblivion ethnic and religious and patriarchal attitudes. Particular attention is paid to Russia, which, so the author, can be attributed to the traumatized societies, for in its development, rejecting socialist past and proclaiming the new, like unexplored copies in its development, it is in a state of uncertainty of their future despite the broadcast official approval. And the fact that the country has not reached those milestones, in many respects depends on a strategic course, which in one way or another retains its liberal orientations. In this context, an analysis of the obstacles that have to be overcome and hamper development of Russia, and the measures that are being implemented, can not be fully attributed to either an evolutionary or a revolutionary path of development. In conclusion, the author suggests ways out from this state.

revolution; evolution; trauma; development; operation; social consequences


Alexander J. C., Sztompka P. (eds) (1990) Rethinking Progress: Movements, Forces and Ideas of the End of the 20th Century. London. Routledge.

Bauman Z. (1989). Modernity and the Holocaust. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Bodrunov I. S. (2016) The re-industrialization: the socio-economic parameters and reintegration of production, science and education. Opinion studies. No. 2: 20–28.

Bondarenko L. V. (2016) Rural Development Russia: estimates, opinions, expectations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No.3: 76–82. (In Russ.)

Buzgalin A. V., Kolganov A. I. 2014. Polemic notes on target accents of alternative socio-economic strategy. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 3: 120–130. (In Russ.)

Caruth C. (1995) Trauma. Explorations in Memory. Baltimore. John Hopkins University Press.

Delyagin M. (2014) The collapse of the optimistic illusions, and the starting point of economic recovery. Russian economic journal. No.1: 19–23. (In Russ.)

Delyagin M. (2016) Lights of darkness. Physiology of the liberal clan, from Berezovsky and Gaidar to Navalny and Sobchak. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Evgenyeva T. V., Seleznev A. V. (2016) The Soviet past in value and figurative-symbolic space of Russian identity. Politicheskie issledovaniya [Political studies]. No. 3: 25–39. (In Russ.)

Eyerman R. (2013) Social theory and trauma. Acta sociologica. Vol.12. No. 1: 121–138.

Graham L. (2016) Russia can offer great ideas, but is not in a position to take advantage of them. Novaya Gazeta. 2016. July 25. (In Russ.)

Grinberg P. S. (2013) The third smile of fortune. Vedomosti. September 7. (In Russ.)

Habermas J. (2001) The Post-National Constellation and the Future Democracy. In: Habermas J. The Post-National Constellation: Political Essays. Ed. M.Pensky. Cambridge MA: MIT Press. 2001. p. 58–112.

Kara-Murza S.G. (2005) Export revolution. Yushchenko. Saakashvili. Moscow: Algorithm. (In Russ.)

Lapkin V. V. (2016) The problems of nation-building in multi-ethnic post-Soviet societies: Ukrainian incident in Comparative Perspective. Politicheskie issledovaniya [Political studies]. No. 4: 54–64. (In Russ.)

Levashov V. K. (2016) Russian society: 25 years of neoliberal reforms. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 11: 45–54. (In Russ.)

Life World of Russians: 25 years later (late 1980s – mid‑2010s.). Ed. Zh.T. Toshchenko (2016). Moscow. (In Russ.)

Linetskiy A. I. (2016) The mechanism of the impact of political institutions on economic development. Politicheskie issledovaniya [Political studies]. No. 2: 152–170. (In Russ.)

Moscow Economic Forum – 2016: 25 years of market reforms in Russia and the world. With longer? (2016). Entrepreneurship. No. 2: 6–23. (In Russ.)

Ponomareva E. G. (2012) Secrets of “color revolutions”. Svobodnaya misl [Free Thought]. No. 3–4: 43–59; No. 5: 38–48. (In Russ.)

Popov G. (2015) 250 years in the service of the Fatherland. Entrepreneurship. No. 6: 15–39. (In Russ.)

Simonian R. H. (2016) Without anger and addiction: the economic reforms of the 1990s and their implications for Russia. Moscow: Economics. (In Russ.)

Sorokin P. A. (1999) Terms and prospects of a world without war. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 5: 3–12. (In Russ.)

Standing G. (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London, New York: Bloomsbury Academic.

Sztompka P. (2001) Social change as trauma. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 1: 6–16. (In Russ.)

The Post-National Constellation: Political Essays. M. Pensky (2001). Cambridge MA: MIT Press: 58–112.

Toshchenko Zh.T. (2016) The birth of a new social class. Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences. T. 86. No. 3: 37–42. (In Russ.)

Toshchenko Zh.T. (2015) Fantomies of Russian society. Moscow: Social Forecasting and Marketing Center. (In Russ.)

Uzun V. Y., Shagaida N. I. (2015) Agrarian Reform in Post-Soviet Russia: mechanisms and results. Moscow: Delo. (In Russ.)

Content No 4, 2017