Boundaries of Russian Patriotism (Case of Non-Reactive Classic Research)

Boundaries of Russian Patriotism (Case of Non-Reactive Classic Research)

Sikevich Z.V.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof., Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnic Sociology, Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Fedorova A.A.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Junior Researcher, Department of the History of Evolutionary Theory and Ecology, S.I. Vavilov Institute for the History of Science and Technology of the RAS – St. Petersburg Branch, St. Petersburg, Russia.

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This article was prepared with the financial support of RFBR, project No. 19-011-00219.

For citation:

Sikevich Z.V., Fedorova A.A. Boundaries of Russian Patriotism (Case of Non-Reactive Classic Research). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 6. P. 134-146


The article addresses patriotism in connection with manifestations of the Internet users’ Russian identity. To obtain consistent results related to Russian patriotism as a combination of collective and individual views, we used two opposite approaches for gaining quantitative and qualitative data. A virtual study examines 10 national and nationalist Russian communities based on the VKontakte network with a total number of participants about 1.07 million people. The research reveals unifying elements of collective ideas that demarcate group identity in Russian communities due to the conventional rapprochement between the terms “nationalism“ and “patriotism”. The empirical facts of non-reactive research and classical survey were fully comparable to typical collective representations. The survey (600 Internet users) revealed an internally contradictory interpretation between categories “patriotism” and “nationalism”, as well as their full or partial synonymity, also present in Russian Internet communities. It is argued that Russia is predominantly associated to great-power attributions and minimal orientation to cultural or economic values. Negative interpretation of patriotism and citizenship is caused by the perception of these categories as an expression of “loyalty” to the government, and not to the Fatherland. The study revealed a weak gender-and-age correlation of collective ideas, which indirectly indicates the patriotism is included into the content core of the Russian Internet users’ national identity. The authors’ methodology for studying the phenomena of patriotism, nationalism and citizenship, based on the content analysis of verbal constructs, has been tested.

patriotism; nationalism; ethnic identity; civic identity; non-reactive strategy; virtual space; social desirability effect; we-concept; geopolitical distance


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