Conference e-mail

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki

Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Anna Sanina (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Historic Traditions and Novel Elements of Patriotic Education in Contemporary Russia

The presentation is based on a comprehensive study of the social roots of citizen raising in contemporary Russia. It traces the development of governmental patriotic programs in recent decades, discusses how the Soviet past and political traditions influence today’s system of patriotism formation, and presents numerous examples illustrating real-life processes in current patriotic education. While the topics of patriotism and patriotic education are highly politicized, this study approaches them from a sociological perspective. It identifies the basic model of patriotic education as a fairly stable structure born of the values and attitudes of different agents: teachers, school administrators, and civil servants. Patriotic education in Russia is shown as a particular example of how a political idea can lead to the formation of social structures, and how, in time, those social structures can lead to the restoration of the original political idea. Methodologically, the study is based on sources of empirical data, including the texts of federal, regional, and local patriotic education programs, statistical data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Russian public opinion research centers (Levada Center, WCIOM, the Public Opinion Foundation), the World Values Survey (Wave 6, 2010-2014), and open interviews conducted in 2015-2016. The fieldwork was completed mostly in rural areas of Russian regions, as well as in Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The interviewees, representing different social groups involved in the process of patriotic education, can be divided into two groups. The first group is represented by federal and regional officials (12 interviews). The second group includes local officials and guidance counselors (8 interviews), school directors (15 interviews), schoolteachers (25 interviews), and priests in the Russian Orthodox Church (6 interviews).