Optimism and ‘solidarization’: implications for political attitudes and practicies
The paradoxes of economic optimism in Russia: social capital and social ties strength influence. The main aim of our report is to reveal factors of economic optimism in Russia. This report is based on data received during the research «Evrobarometr in Russia», conducted 2 times per year since November, 2012. Sample size - 6000 people. This survey is carried in 10 Russian regions, in each of them 600 people are questioned. Received data is valid and representative for Russia generally and for each region as well. While the real incomes of population reduced, economic expectations of Russians increased on 20%, as data showed. This paradox couldn’t be explained neither by economic situation improvement in the country (estimation of current economic situation is worse than it was during the previous year study), nor by security of Russian citizens in economic institutions functioning. More than 50% of Russians doesn’t trust to governmental institutions responsible for economics operation, including pension funds and banks. As data analysis showed the main reason of economic optimism in these conditions is increase of respondents' social capital. By the moment social capital is the main source for insurance of their own economic future. Along this the integral parts of social capital - strong and weak ties - accomplish their functions differently. The weak ties provide sense of confidence by means of social networks diversification and by reducing of the risks on the labor market in the first place. At the same time strong ties provide more fundamental safety feeling, which is expressed in confidence that respondents will receive help from close friends and relatives. In the basis of sense of safety is not diversification but strength of contacts which is used, however, only in extreme cases. These and other questions will be examined more explicitly in our report.
social capital, economic expectations, Evrobarometr in Russia, economic optimism