Features of Elderly People Perception in Russian Society

Features of Elderly People Perception in Russian Society

Lyalikova S.V

Researcher, Institute of Socio-Economic Problems of Population FCTAS, Moscow, Russia. lyalikova@socio.msu.ru

Nazarova I.B.

Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Main Researcher, Institute of Socio-Economic Problems of Population FCTAS, Moscow, Russia. inna-nazarova@mail.ru

Karpova V.M.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Lecturer, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. wmkarpova@yandex.ru

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Lyalikova S.V, Nazarova I.B., Karpova V.M. Features of Elderly People Perception in Russian Society. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2023. No 10. P. 104-115


The demographic structure of Russian society is undergoing significant changes: the proportion of older people is increasing, the boundaries of the retirement age are shifting, and the structure of the labor market is also changing. The problem is that stereotypes about older people, formed in scientific and public discourse, often have a negative connotation. The purpose of the work is to explore the stable representations of various social groups in relation to older people. Based on the author’s empirical research, the paper presents an analysis of the associations that arise with the phrase “elderly person”, and also analyzes the degree of agreement and disagreement of the study participants with various judgments about the nature and lifestyle of the elderly. Factor analysis showed which categories of the population are the most loyal and speak positively about the elderly, and which are negatively disposed. Young people show more empathy for the older generation, people of pre-retirement age and the elderly themselves. Negative characteristics of the elderly are attributed to “children” – respondents aged 30–44 years. The core of the consensus in Russian society is represented by the majority, who believe that older people deserve only positive or mostly positive assessments. They see older people as mentors – wise and experienced people who may have squandered some of their physical potential.

elderly people; pensioners; stereotypes about the elderly; lifestyle of older people


Ashmore R.D., Del Boca F.K. (1981) Conceptual Approaches to Stereotypes and Stereotyping. Cognitive Processes in Stereotyping and Intergroup Behavior. Ed. by D.L. Hamilton. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: 1–35.

Blekharskaya E.V. (2017) Elderly age as a stage of the life cycle of a person. Pedagogicheskoe obrazovanie v Rossii [Pedagogical education in Russia]. No. 12: 36–43. (In Russ.)

Dorling D., Gietel-Basten S. (2022) Why Demography Matters. Moscow: VSHE. (In Russ.)

Encyclopedic Sociological Dictionary (1995). Ed. G.V. Osipov. Moscow: ISPI RAN. (In Russ.)

Galkin K.A. (2023a) Activity and strategies for caring for the health of the elderly: urban and rural context. Nauka. Kul`tura. Obshhestvo [Science. Culture. Society]. 2023. Vol. 29. No. 1: 130–142. (In Russ.)

Galkin K.A. (2023b) Features of medicalizing behavior towards the elderly in interactions with doctors and social workers. Gumanitarii Yuga Rossii [Humanities of the South of Russia]. Vol. 12. No. 2: 14–27. (In Russ.)

Grigor’eva I.A., Ukhanova Yu.V., Smoleva E.O. (2019) Transformation of social policy in Russia in the context of population ageing. Ekonomicheskie i socialnie peremeni: fakti, tendencii, prognoz [Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast]. Vol. 12. No. 5: 124–140. (In Russ.)

Kasyanova Т.I., Voronina L.I., Rezer T.M. (2020) Educational potential of Russian senior citizens. Obrazovanie i nauka [The Education and science journal]. No. 22(2): 121–142. (In Russ.)

Kornilova M.V. (2018) Computer and internet technologies in the lives of older people: opportunities and risks. Vlast [The Authority]. No. 6(26): 62–69. (In Russ.)

Kozyreva P.M., Smirnov A.I. (2022) Social isolation and loneliness in older age. Sociologicheskaya nauka i socialnaya praktika [Sociologicheskaja nauka i social’naja praktika]. Vol. 10. No. 4: 46–63. (In Russ.)

Kuchmaeva O.V. (2018) Social activity of elderly Russians and prospects of implementation of the “active ageing” policy. Naselenie i ekonomika [Population and Economics]. Vol. 2. No. 4: 47–84. (In Russ.)

Lippman W. (2004) Public Opinion. Moscow: FOM. (In Russ.)\

Medkov V.M. (2008) Demography. Moscow: Infra-M. (In Russ.)

Pavlova I.A., Nedospasova O.P., Barysheva G.A. (2020) Comprehensive assessment of socio-economic involvement of older generation in the regional society on the example of labor activity. Vektory blagopoluchiya: ekonomika i socium [Journal of Wellbeing Technologies]. No. 4 (39): 48–84. (In Russ.)

Pitchford S.R. (2001) Image-making movements: welsh nationalism and stereotype transformation. In: Sociological Perspectives. Vol. 44 (1): 45–65.

Prokhorova L.V. (2019) Elderly people and silver volunteering: real cases. Vestnik NGUEU [Vestnik NSUEM]. No. 3: 248–259. (In Russ.)

Shmerlina I.A. (2014) Age constructs and life style in older age. Part II. Starting point of senility and life at ripe old age. Monitoring obschestvennogo mneniya: ekonomicheskie i socialnie peremeni [Monitoring of Public Opinion: Economic and Social Changes]. No. 2(120): 190–198. (In Russ.)

Tajfel H., Jahoda G., Nemeth C., Rim Y., Johnson N. (1972) The Devaluation by Children of Their Own National and Ethnic Group: Two Case Studies. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. Vol. 11(3): 235–243.

Trubitsyna L.V., Zhuravleva Yu.V. (2022) Psychological features of the attitude of adults to their parents. Psiholog [Psychologist]. No. 6: 88–97. (In Russ.)

Vaganova-Naimushina L.A. (2017) The health characteristics of the elderly and medical-social care. Vestnik Shadrinskogo gospedun-ta [Journal of Shadrinsk State Pedagogical University]. No. 2(34): 6–12. (In Russ.)

Voronina M.E. (2016) Adult daughters and aging parents: relationship features. Vestnik Kostromskogo gosun-ta. Ser.: Pedagogika. Psihologiya. Sociokinetika [Vestnik of Kostroma State University. Series: Pedagogy. Psychology. Sociokinetics]. No. 2: 84–89. (In Russ).

Content No 10, 2023