Citizenship as Understood by St. Petersburg Young People and their Parents

Citizenship as Understood by St. Petersburg Young People and their Parents

Nartova N.A.

Сand. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Research Fellow, Center for Youth Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia

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This article results from a research project implemented as a part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).

For citation:

Nartova N.A. Citizenship as Understood by St. Petersburg Young People and their Parents. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2019. No 12. P. 38-47


The problematization of youth citizenship from the perspective of participation in traditional institutionalized politics not only questions the relevance of the dominant theoretical and methodological grounds for studying citizenship in modern conditions, but also calls for a new look at youth as a generation, including their parents. The article is devoted to the analysis of ideas about citizenship in the generational perspective. Based on the concepts of everyday citizenship developed in youth research and a qualitative methodology, the work explores the meanings and interpretations of citizenship as part of personal experience by young adults (18–26 years) and their parents in St. Petersburg. The ideal-typical ideas about citizenship and the reflection on one’s own citizenship are consistently discussed. The analysis of empirical material shows that young people have formed and share a relatively conventional model of citizenship as active involvement in social changes in everyday space. For the parent generation, citizenship is predominantly defined in moral and ethical categories and is manifested through responsible labor activity. At the same time, a more active and socially oriented position of youth leads to a change in intergenerational interaction: not only older generation transmit their values and experience to the younger, but also vice versa.

youth; citizenship; generation; everyday citizenship; social involvement; civil engagement


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Content No 12, 2019