Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR)

     

     
    Address:
     office 301, bld. 87, Ligovskij prospect,St.Petersburg
    Mail Address:
    P.O.B. 193,,  St.Petersburg, 191040
    WWW-server:
    http://www.indepsocres.spb.ru
    E-mail:
    centre@indepsocres.spb.ru 
     

       

      The Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR) was created in 1991 (in 1996 it was registered as an independent noncommercial organization) by group of sociologists who had been working t the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The Centre was established as a non-governmental noncommercial research organization orientated toward new effective samples of administration, decision-making and coordination of research activity. CISR aims to be included in the world sociological community.

      At this point in time, CISR focuses on three basic directions of its activity: the undertaking of academic sociological research, the professional training of young sociologists, and the formation of an effective research network of institutions working in the sphere of social sciences.

      The main strategy of CISR is the development of actual social research of academic type. A few dozens realized projects and a set of important publications in Russia and abroad have ratified CISR's positions in the international sociological community. The place which the Centre occupies in the sociological community is connected with methodological preferences: CISR's activity especially attracts researchers who adhere to qualitative sociological methodology.

      CISR's research activity reflects a wide spectrum of sociological interests. However, the main directions of research work have been stated as: ethnic problems and migrations, gender research, problems of NGOs and social protection, problems of sustainable development and environmental studies, economic and sociological research, studies in the field of sociology of science, and changing social structure.

    The main directions of research in the CISR are:

              • Ethnic problems and migration;
              • Gender studies;
              • Third sector activity and social protection;
              • Changes in social structure;
              • Environmental studies and sustainable development;
              • Social problems in cities;
              • New economic subjects and labour relations.

     

      The peculiarities of previous development of the Soviet sociology have actualized the problem of personnel. The efforts of the founders of the institute were primarily directed toward the search for gifted young researchers. At present, three quarters of CISR's workers are under 30. They have been educated at sociological faculties of St.Petersburg universities, predominately, at the European University at St.Petersburg. CISR understands the existing difficulties of training new generation of sociologists, and therefore actively cooperates with St.Petersburg universities to this aim. The Centre regularly organizes student research practice on the premises and supports students initiated research. The Centre has received international recognition for its work in this area. In 2000, CISR received the premium of the German-Russian Forum and the Robert Bosh Foundation for its contribution to training young social researchers.

      CISR also functions as a resource centre, conducting research on problems of the third sector, consulting NGOs and offering them methodological assistance. CISR's researchers play the role of experts to institutions and foundations both in Russia and abroad. The infrastructure of CISR (the archive and the library, in particular) is accessible and free for a wide range of persons and organizations from Russia and abroad.

      The Centre conducts regular seminars covering all the directions of the studies, holds international conferences and seminars.

      CISR pays special attention to the support of young researchers and research teams in the Russian regions, and to the development of cooperation with them, in particular. As an official partner of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, the Centre is among the organizers of the annual competition of young researchers for the foundation's grant award.

      The Centre has a well-developed infrastructure with a library of about 5000 volumes, that contains current editions in Russian, German and English, and a rich research archive, the archive of biographic and problem-oriented interviews, the archive of newspaper publications of 1992-2000 covering around 40 cathegotiesof research activity.

      More than one hundred works of CISR's researchers are published annually in collections and scientific magazines in Russia and abroad. Since 1995, the Centre has published its own periodicals in Russian and English (at this point in time, eight issues of " Working Papers" have been published).

      Working Papers of the CISR (since 1995):

¹1. Fomin, Eduard, Oswald, Ingrid, Voronkov, Viktor.

Armament Migration and Brain Drain: the Military Industrial Complex and Scientific Institutions in Russia (in both Russian and English). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1995. 46 p.


¹2. Fomin, Eduard, Voronkov, Viktor.

Foreign Help to Science: Outlook of a Russian Scientist (the case of Academgorogok in Novosibirsk) (in Russian). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1995. 19 p.


¹3. Zdravomyslova, Elena, Heikkinen, Kaija (ed.).

Civil Society in the European North: Concept and Context. Collection of Articles (in both Russian and English). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1996. 160 p.


¹4. Zdravomyslova, Elena, Temkina, Anna (ed.).

Gender Dimension of Social and Political Activism in Russian Transformation. Collection of Articles (in Russian). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1996. 96p.


¹5. Voronkov, Viktor, Zdravomyslova, Elena (ed.).

Biographical Perspectives on Post-Socialist Societies. Collection of Articles ( in both Russian and English). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1997. 223 p.


¹6. Tysiachniouk, Maria, Zdravomyslova, Elena.

Environmental Movement in Russia. (in Russian). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1999.108 p.


¹7. Brednikova, Olga, Voronkov, Viktor (ed.).

Nomadic Borders. Collection of Articles (in both Russian and English). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 1999. 160 p.


¹8. Brednikova, Olga, Chikadze, Elena, Voronkov, Viktor (ed.).

Ethnic Economy in Post-Socialist Space. Collection of articles ( in both Russian and English). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 2000. 128 p.


¹9. Chikadze, Elena, Patchenkov, Oleg, Voronkov, Viktor (ed.).

Invisible Faces of Social Reality .(in Russian). CISR. Working Papers. St.Petersburg, 2001.124 p.


Scientific partnership:

The Centre has rapidly and successfully entered the system of international cooperation. Through its participation in international conferences and workshops, in training programs and in joint research projects, it has developed cooperation and partner relations with a number of universities and research institutes in more than thirty countries.

CISR's activity was supported by a number of world (UNHCR), European (INTAS, TACIS, INCO-Copernicus), American (MacArthur, Ford, Soros, IREX, Fulbright, Trust for Mutual Understanding), German (Berghof, Heinrich-Boell, Deutsche Forschungs-gemeinschaft, Ebert, Volkswagen, DVV, Universitaet Bremen, Ministerium fuer Wissenschaft und Forschung Nord-Rhein-Westfalien) and Scandinavian (Finnish Academy of Sciences, University of Helsinki, Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, Ministry of the Environment of Finland, Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Institute for Gender Research, Norway, Swedish Society for Nature Protection, University of Joensuu, International Coalition for Clean Baltics) institutes, foundations and programs.

CISR aims at overcoming barriers between Russian and foreign sociologists. CISR aspires to become a part of the world sociological community and puts much energy into the training of CISR's researchers abroad. It also cooperates with many western students and post-graduate students, mostly from Germany, USA and Finland, who seek to realize their research projects in CISR.

Partnership in Associations:

One of the main directions of CISR's activity is the formation of an effective network of organizations working in the sphere of social sciences. CISR is a member of the European Association of Researchers for Transition (EART), of the International Research Network of Civic Culture of Northwest Europe and Russia (Civic Forum), of the Nordic Network for Women' Studies and Gender Research (NIKK) and of the Nordic Research Network "Microsociological Prospect of Post-Soviet Transformation". CISR sees its function in coordination of activity of state and non-state, educational and research institutes, human rights and other organizations, aiming at the study of social processes, characterizing post-Soviet society. CISR closely cooperates with a number of the third sector organizations in Russia and the NIS countries in the sphere of human rights, gender and ecological problems.


    Seminars and Conferences:

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    International Workshop "Civil Society in the Nordic Europe" (St.Petersburg, 18-19 January 1996)


    Organizers: The Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR) and the Karelian Institute at the University of Joensuu, Finland. During the workshop the concepts of civil society and the problems of its formation in Nordic Europe were discussed. The participants of the seminar were researchers from Russia (Petrozavodsk and St.Petersburg), Sweden, Finland and Estonia.
     The results of the workshop were published in Working Papers of the Centre for Independent Social Research (Vol.3).


    International Workshop within the project "Establishment of the International Refugee Documentary Network (IRDN) in the Commonwealth of Independent Countries" (St.Petersburg, 5-7 June 1996)


    Organizers: The Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR) and the Berlin Institute for Comparative Social Research (BIVS). Besides the participants from CISR and BIVS the workshop was attended by the participants of the project from Armenia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the representatives of the UNHCR (the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees), IOM (International Organization for Migration), TACIS, federal migration services, as well as the  representatives of non-governmental organizations of St.Petersburg, Leningrad and neighbouring regions dealing with the problems of refugees and displaced persons. During the workshop the TACIS project was presented that was devoted to the establishment of refugee documentary network. The participants discussed the problems and possibilities of cooperation between organizations interested. The work was a part of the project financed by the TACIS programme.


    International Workshop "Biographical Method in Post-Socialist Societies" (St.Petersburg, 13-17 November 1996).

    Organizers: The Centre for Independent Social Research (CISR), the Research Committee of EART. Sociologists from Great Britain, Germany, Israel, Ireland, Latvia, Russia (St.Petersburg, Moscow, Irkutsk), as well as from France and Finland participated in the workshop. The participants discussed problems of biographical method and possibilites of its applying in concrete empirical researches: gender and sexuality, ethnicity and migration, social networks and strategies of life, comparative cultural researches, education and upbringing, etc.
     The workshop was held under financial support of the MacArthur Foundation. The materials of the workshop was published in Working Papers of the CISR (Vol.5).


    Annual Conference of Young Scholars-grantees of the Heinrich-Boell Foundation

    (St.Petersburg, 17-22 September 1998,

    St.Petersburg, 4-7 November 1999,

    St.Petersburg, 18-24 June 2001)

    Organizers: The "Memorial" International historical-educational and human rights society (Moscow), the Centre for Independent Social Research (St.Petersburg) and the Heinrich-Boell Foundation (Berlin). CISR is one of the coordinators of an international program for support of young scholars, developed with the purpose of nurturing independent research in humanitarian sciences. Within the framework of the program 28 annual stipends are granted to young researchers who work on various aspects of the themes "Totalitarianism: ideology and practice", "Human rights in modern Russia", "Discrimination of minorities' rights" etc. In the course of an annual conference students and post-graduates from different cities of Russia and Germany who were granted Heinrich-Boell Foundation stipends, as well as Russian and German sociologists, historians, and representatives of historical-educational and human rights societies, discussed the results of the grantees' studies. Conduction of the seminars was supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation.


    International Workshop "Democracy in Action: Building Sustainable Communities in Russia and the United States" (St.Petersburg, 26-28 August 1998)

    Organizers: Center for Independent Social Research (St.Petersburg) and International Interdisciplinary Environmental Association. Interdisciplinary environmental scientists and practitioners from the USA, Scotland, and Russia (St.Petersburg, Moscow) discussed different aspects of sustainable development worldwide and the role of NGOs in promoting Agenda XXI in Russia, the USA and the UK. The materials of the workshop are published both in English and Russian. Conduction of the workshop was supported by the "Trust for Mutual Understanding" Society.


    International Workshop "Nomadic Borders" (Narva, 12-16 November 1998)

    Organizer: Center for Independent Social Research. Forty scholars from Austria, Hungary, Germany, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia (Irkutsk, Pskov, St.Petersburg), Finland, Sweden and Estonia participated. In the course of the workshop the methodological problems and the results of empirical research devoted to opening/emerging new borders in Europe over the last ten years were discussed. Special attention was paid to economic and social consequences of a border's existence for inhabitants of the borderland, as well as to structural changes in borderland milieu, the functioning of divided towns etc. The collection of reports is published in CISR Working Papers ( ü 7). The workshop was conducted with the financial support of the Heinrich-Boell Foundation.


    International Workshop "Ethnicity and Economy in Post-Socialist Space" (St.Petersburg, 9-12 September 1999)

    Organizer: Centre for Independent Social Research (St.Petersburg). More than 30 scholars from Germany, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Poland, Russia (Irkutsk, Moscow, Pskov, St.Petersburg, Ulan-Ude) and Slovakia participated. The discussion was focused on the problems of methodology and the results of empirical researches connected with the phenomenon of emerging ethnic economy in Eastern Europe. Conduction of the workshop was supported by the "East-East" Program of the Open Society Institute and the Jh. and K. MacArthur Foundation. CISR conducts a series of seminars on ethnic, gender and other problems, as well as on qualitative methods in sociology. The Centre is a participant and organizer of a number of workshops on ethnic relations, migration, the third sector, gender problems and political sociology.


    International Workshop "Shifting Borders" (St.Petersburg, 8-11 June 2000)

    Organizers: Centre for Independent Social Research and East-Central European Department of the German Sociological Community. Scholars from Germany, Poland, Russia (St.Petersburg), Finland, Switzerland, Sweden and Estonia contributed to the workshop. During the workshop the discussion was focused on the results of empirical research dealing with shifting borders in East and Central Europe over the last 10 years. Special attention was paid to social consequences of changes in the East European borderland.

    Conduction of the workshop was supported by the Thyssen Foundation.


    CISR conducts a series of seminars on ethnic, gender and other problems, as well as on qualitative methods in sociology. The Centre is a participant and organizer of a number of workshops on ethnic relations, migration, the third sector, gender problems and political sociology.


    Research Projects

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    1995

    Social Science Development in Russia (Russian-German Monitoring) (01.1995 - 11.1996)

    Joint project with Gesellschaft fuer sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung und Publizistic GmbH (Berlin)


    Culture of Labour in Reforming Russian Industry (06.1995 - 06.1996)
    Forming of Ethnic Communities in St.Petersburg and Berlin (06.1995 - 08.1996)
    Social Consequenses of Privatization in Russia (08.1995 - 07.1996) Joint project with the Humboldt University (Berlin, Germany)
    1996

    Formation of Sexual Culture in Russia (01.1996 - 08.1998)

    A joint project with the University of Helsinki.

    Coordinator: Elina Haavio-Mannila (University of Helsinki).

    The aim of the project was to explore the factors that influence the formation of sexual culture in Russia. Eighteen interviews with men belonging to different generations were taken. Special attention was paid to sexual education, sexual practices and informants' attitudes towards contraception and sexual risk. Changes in sexual culture for the last ten years, as well as a variety of sexual practices, expectations and norms adopted in different generations, were studied.

    Participant from CISR: Andrei Khanzhin.

    Supported by the University of Helsinki.


    Education of Adults (02.1996 - 08.1996)
    Institute for International Cooperation at the German Association of People's Universities // Institut fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit des Deutschen Volkshochschule - Verbandes e.V. /DVV
    Quality of Life: Male and Female Strategies of Health (02.1996 - 07.1998)

    A joint interdisciplinary project (sociology, social psychology, applied medicine) with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (INOH). Coordinators: Kaisa Kauppinen (INOH), Viktor Voronkov (CISR). The purposes of the project were: the determination of quality of life indexes; comparative analysis of East and West; investigation of reasons for the deterioration of health as a result of way of life, socio-political situation, etc. In the course of the project interviews were held with focus groups on issues referring to "unhealthy" lifestyles (alcoholism, smoking, violence). Mass polls on quality of life and the attitudes of the population towards its health in Russian cities (St.Petersburg, Samara, Pskov) were conducted. Secondary analysis of the results of other research projects on the subject was carried out.

    Participants from CISR: Elena Chikadze, Natalia Fedorova, Eduard Fomin, Valentina Martynova, Viktor Voronkov, Elena Zdravomyslova.

    Supported by INTAS Programme.


    Gender Aspects of Socialization (03.1996 - 06.1996)

    Joint subproject within the framework of the project "Social Transformation and Cultural Inertsia in Russia" of University Helsinki, Finnish Academy of Sciences.


    "Brain Drain": Emigration of Scientists from the CIS Countries (03.1996 - 02.1997)
    Establishment of International Refugee Documentation Network (IRDN) in the CIS Countries (03.1996 - 04.1997)
    Sexuality and Gender in Russia (05.1996 - 12.1996)

    Joint subproject within the framework of the project "Social Transformation and Cultural Inertsia in Russia" of University Helsinki, Finnish Academy of Sciences.


    1997

    Gender, Private Sphere and Civil Society in Russia in the Period of Transition (01.1997 - 09.1998)

    Coordinator: Martina Ritter (University of Giessen, Germany).

    The aim of the project was to explore changes in the gender contract and conceptions of "public" and "private" resulting from the emergence of civil society. Within the project 42 biographical interviews were taken in St.Petersburg and Stavropol.

    Participant from CISR: Andrei Khanzhin.

    Supported by the University of Giessen.


    Caucasians in a Big City: Integration in the Context of Xenophobia (the Case of St.Petersburg) (09.1997 - 12.1998)

    Coordinator: Viktor Voronkov (CISR).

    The aim of the project is to study problems in formation of ethnic niches in the economy. The methods of the research include participant-observation in the milieu of Azeri greenery sellers and Armenian shoe repairers. In addition, narrative interviews with informants and experts were conducted. In the course of the project, public discourse on Caucasians, as evidenced in leading Russian newspapers and juridical cases, was explored, and legal issues regarding discrimination against migrants in Moscow and St.Petersburg were analyzed.

    Participants: Olga Brednikova, Elena Chikadze, Sergei Damberg, Nikolai Girenko, Oksana Karpenko, Oleg Patchenkov, Viktor Voronkov.

    Supported by the MacArthur Foundation.


    Promoting Agenda XXI in St.Petersburg Region (10.1997 - 01.2000)

    A joint project of CISR, the Society of Naturalists, "Green World" Society, Center for NGOs Support, Center for Continuing Education at St.Petersburg State University, Transboundary Environmental Information Agency (TEIA).

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), Nadezhda Galkovskaya (CISR), Alexander Karpov (Society of Naturalists).

    The aim of the project was to involve NGOs in Agenda XXI and to establish a network of organizations interested in working on Agenda XXI in the St.Petersburg region. Three seminars for NGOs on "Local Agenda XXI-opportunities for public participation" were organized. On June 30, 1998 an intersectional conference entitled "Baltic Agenda XXI - mechanisms of interaction between initiatives in the region" was conducted. Several sociological papers are ready for publication.

    Participants from CISR: Alla Bolotova, Nadezhda Galkovskaya, Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Svetlana Pchelkina, Dmitry Vorobjov.

    Supported by Center for NGOs Support, Swedish Society for Nature Protection.


    Alternative Nutrition Practices in Ecological Ethic Communities (12.1997 - 06.1999)

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR).

    The project was aimed at study of ideas resultant of nutrition practices and tendencies for changing nutrition behaviour in eco-ethical public communities in St.Petersburg and Vologda. The research methods were: questioning, structural interviewing, participant observation and documentary study.

    Participants: Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Supported by CISR.


    1998

    Constructing a Directory of Non-Governmental Organizations of St.Petersburg (01.1998 - 09.1998)

    Joint project of CISR and the Transboundary Environmental Information Agency (TEIA).

    Coordinators: Nathaniel Trumbull (TEIA), Elena Kobetz (TEIA), Erna Lahti (University of Tampere, Finland).

    The aim of the project was to create the first directory of St.Petersburg non-governmental organizations which not only gives contact information, but also seeks to describe their activities. The goal of this directory specifically was to help meet the need for information about St.Petersburg non-governmental organizations dealing with environmental issues. A Directory of Non-Governmental Organizations of St.Petersburg was published by St.Petersburg Notabene Publishers and distributed to the NGOs.

    Participants from CISR: Alla Bolotova, Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Svetlana Pchelkina, Maria Tysiachniouk, Dmitry Voribjov.

    Supported by Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature, Ministry of the Environment (Finland), Nordic Council of Ministers.


    Local Communities, Traditional Cultures and Sustainable Development. Building an Eco-village in Russia: Reuskala case study (01.1998 - 01.2000)

    Coordinators: Svetlana Pchelkina (CISR), Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR).

    Qualitative sociological research was conducted during two expeditions (February 1998 and October 1998) using the methods of in-depth biographical interviewing and participant-observation. Biographies were analyzed within their historical/cultural contexts. The goal of the research is to explore the experience of building a sustainable community (taking the case of "Nevo Ecoville" in Reuskala, Karelian Republic, Russia), with the ultimate aim of introducing sustainable practices given the context of deep economic crises in Russia.

    Participants from CISR: Alla Bolotova, Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Svetlana Pchelkina, Maria Tysiachniouk, Dmitry Vorobjov.

    Supported by CISR, private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    "Life in Borderland": New Strategies and Solidarities (02.1998-01.1999)

    Coordinator: Viktor Voronkov (CISR).

    The project was aimed at studying the social consequences of a "new" border between Russia and Estonia (a case of the divided town of Narva/Ivangorod); transforming social borders as a result of transformation of political bordera, and observation of "life in borderland", i.e.: forming practices, new behavioral strategies and solidarity of people under these conditions.

    Participants: Olga Brednikova, Elena Nikiforova.

    Supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation and CISR.


    R&D and Production Systems in Transition (02.1998 - 01.2001)

    A joint research project with Work Research Centre (WRC) (University of Tampere, Finland). Coordinators: Gerd Schienstock (WRC), Erkki Kaukonen (WRC), Viktor Voronkov (CISR).

    The aim of the project is to study processes of economic transformation in Russia in the context of innovation processes in industry and in R&D spheres. Methodologies included problematic interviewing with the leaders of a number of industrial enterprises and R&D institutes as well as participant-observation. Participants: Lubov Ezhova, Natalia Glebovskaya, Valentina Martynova, Irina Olimpieva, Alfred Sarno, Irina Sarno, Viktor Voronkov.

    Supported by INCO-Copernicus Programme.


    Democracy in Action: Building Sustainable Communities in Russia and the United States (05.1998 - 09.1998)

    A joint exchange project with the International Interdisciplinary Environmental Association (IEA), Assumption College, USA.

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), George McCarthy (University of North Carolina).

    The aim of the project: to bring together various disciplines in order to enhance their individual knowledge of environmental issues through interdisciplinary dialogue and discussion; to inform the educated layperson about accomplishments, current concerns and future plans to create a sustainable future in Russia and the United States. Several panels were conducted as part of the Fourth Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment (was held on 7-10 July, 1998 in Washington, DC). International workshop was held on 26-28 August, 1998 in St.Petersburg. Working papers of the two meetings were published in January 1999. Participants from CISR: Alla Bolotova, Nadezhda Galkovskaya, Antonina Kuliasova, Maria Tysiachniouk, Dmitry Vorobjov.

    Supported by "Trust for Mutual Understanding" Society.


    Civic Culture and Civil Society in the Baltic States and the Russian North (08.1998 - 08.2000)

    Joint project with the University of Joensuu (Finland).

    Coordinator from CISR: Viktor Voronkov.

    Project participants from Estonia, Finland and Russia explore people's everyday life, their public activity and social networks. Research in Narva (Estonia), Pitkjaranta and Petrozavodsk (Karelia), and St.Petersburg (Russia) was conducted within the framework of the project. Main research method: standardized interviewing.

    Participants from CISR: Olga Brednikova, Elena Nikiforova, Viktor Voronkov.

    Supported by University of Joensuu.


    Charity in Russia as a Socio-Cultural Phenomenon (09.1998 - 02.1999)

    The project was initiated by the Baltic Humanitarian Foundation (St.Petersburg).

    Coordinator: Oleg Leikind (Baltic Humanitarian Foundation).

    The aim of the project was to study peculiarities of charity in Russia and the conditions and difficulties of its development. The research work was focused on the cases of St.Petersburg and Vyborg. The method of participant observation in charity organizations was used and 25 in-depth narrative interviews were conducted in the course of the research. In addition, an analysis of press sources was carried out. Within the project a round table on the issue was organized, where heads of leading St.Petersburg non-governmental organizations and journalists participated. A book was published based on the results of the research. Participants from CISR: Elena Chikadze, Natalia Fedorova, Eduard Fomin.

    Supported by Open Society Institute.


    Telecommunication Market Development in Russia (the case of St.Petersburg) (10.1998 - 01.1999)

    Coordinator: Viktor Voronkov (CISR).

    The research was based on 50 problem-oriented interviews with providers, individual and collective users and experts, as well as on the analysis of publications and other documents.

    Participants: Lubov Ezhova, Valentina Martynova, Irina Olimpieva, Alfred Sarno, Irina Sarno, Viktor Voronkov, Elena Zdravomyslova.

    Supported by Daimler-Crysler.


    Ecologization of New Religions in Russia: Tibercule Case Study (10.1998 - 01.2000)

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), Antonina Kuliasova (CISR).

    The research was aimed at analysis of the relationship between a human being and nature (the case of aim of "Commune of Vissarion" - an ecological community "Tibercule". The methods of biographic interviewing, participant observation, as well as the analysis of documents, were used in the course of the research.

    Participants: Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Maria Tysiachniouk. Financing: CISR, private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    Living for Tomorrow: Youth, Sexual Health and the Cultural Landscape of Gender and Sexuality in Nordic/Baltic/N.W. Russian Times of Transition (11.1998 - 07.1999)

    A joint project of organizations and researchers from the Baltic states. Coordinator: Jill Lewis (NIKK, Oslo). The aim of the project is to organize a cycle of capacity-building workshops for young people, in order to stimulate discussion on sexual health within the framework of discourse on modern gender culture.

    Participants: Katerina Gerasimova, Andrei Khanzhin.

    Supported by Nordic Institute for Gender Research (Norway).


    Social Aspects of Sustainable Development: Community of Families with Adopted Children (Kitezh Case Study) (12.1998 - 12.2000)

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), Svetlana Pchelkina (CISR).

    The aim of the project is to study the experience of the organization of an orphanage, taking the case of the sustainable village "Kitezh" in Kaluzhskaya oblast', Russia, as the first model of an alternative institution for child development in order to help orphans. Qualitative research has been conducted using 22 in-depth biographical interviews and participant-observation during the expedition (December 1998).

    Participants: Antonina Kuliasova, Svetlana Pchelkina, Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Supported by CISR, private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    1999

    The Role of Pawnshops in Survival Strategies in Transforming Society (02.1999 - 07.1999)

    Coordinator: Heiko Schrader (Magdeburg University)

    The aim of the project was to study the system of lombard service in St.Petersburg, in order to reveal "national peculiarities" of its organization and to determine the social structure of lombards' clients. Research methods: questionnaires among lombards' clients, problem-oriented interviews with the heads of lombards, and biographical interviews with clients. Participants: Irina Chekhovskih, Oleg Patchenkov, Aglaya Toporova.

    Supported by the Volkswagen Foundation.


    Sustainable Development Practices (02.1999 - 01.2000)

    Joint project of CISR, "Green World" Society and SPb Society of Naturalists.

    Coordinator: Evgenia Makhonina ("Green World").

    The study was aimed at finding and describing sustainable projects in the St.Petersburg region, using the method of case study was used. A book in both English and Russian was published based on the results of the study.

    Participants from CISR: Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Svetlana Pchelkina.

    Supported by International Coalition for Clean Baltics.


    Innovation Systems and Industrial Modernization: Comparative Situation in Armenia, Latvia and Russia (St.Petersburg) (03.1999 - 02.2001)

    A joint project with the Work Research Centre (WRC) (Tampere University, Finland), the Institute of Technology and System Analysis (Karlsrue, Germany), the Institute of Economics at the Latvian Academy of Sciences, Sociological Research Centre (Erevan, Armenia).

    Coordinators: Gerd Schienstok (WRC), Viktor Voronkov (CISR).

    The project deals with comparative researches of the innovation processes of transformation in post-Soviet states. The methods of research were participant-observation and problem-oriented interviewing at enterprises and R&D institutes of St.Petersburg. In addition to macroanalysis, the case study method was used.

    Participants: Lubov Ezhova, Natalia Glebovskaya, Valentina Martynova, Irina Olimpieva, Alfred Sarno, Irina Sarno, Viktor Voronkov.

    Supported by INCO-Copernicus Programme.


    Milieu and Social Structure Reproduction in Russia (the case of St.Petersburg) (04.1999 - 09.2000)

    Joint project with Magdeburg University.

    Coordinators: Eckhard Dittrich (Magdeburg University), Ingrid Oswald (CISR/ Magdeburg University), Viktor Voronkov (CISR).

    The aim of the project is to study changes in the organization of the everyday life (Lebensfuerung) of representatives of the six most popular professions (military men, physicians, engineers, scientists, teachers and functionaries). 90 problem-oriented interviews were conducted and a special study of social networks of the above milieu (based on diaries of contacts) was carried out.

    Participants from CISR: Elena Chikadze, Boris Gladarev, Antonina Oblasova, Ingrid Oswald, Viktor Voronkov.

    Supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.


    Border-Crossing in Manifest Perceptions and Actual Needs (04.1999 - 10.1999)

    The research conducted within Pepsi-Lake project (Tartu, Estonia) was devoted to the transformation of social space of the Russian-Estonian borderland as a result of the transformation of political space. The research methods: participant observation, problem-oriented interviewing, analysis of local press sources.

    Participants from CISR: Olga Brednikova, Elena Nikiforova.

    Supported by CISR.


    Contaminated Communities. Movement for Nuclear Safety in Tcheliabinsk and the village of Musliumovo (04.1999 - 12.2000)

    Coordinators: Michael Edelstein (Ramapo College of New Jersey), Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR).

    The aim of the project was to study the resource mobilization of the Movement for Nuclear Safety in a highly contaminated community. The methods of biographical interviewing, participant observation and analysis of documents were used.

    Participants from CISR: Antonina Kuliasova, Maria Tysiachniouk. Financing: private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    Decision-Making and Civil Rights: Public Monitoring System for St.Petersburg and Leningradskaya Oblast' (06.1999 - 06.2000)

    Joint project of CISR, "Green World" Society and SPb Society of Naturalists Coordinator: Alexander Karpov (SPb Society of Naturalists).

    The project was aimed at the establishment of a public control system for the purpose of ensuring civil rights for participation in ecological and social decision-making. One of the goals of the project is the monitoring of human rights observation in this field and of changes in public activity. Another goal is to train the representatives of NGOs and public associations in methods and practice of decision-making.

    Participants from CISR: Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova.

    Supported by "Grazhdanin" ("Citizen") Foundation.


    Ecological Colonies in Russia, the USA and Canada (06.1999 - 01.2003)

    A comparative study of eco-villages in these three countries is to be conducted.

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), Ivan Kuliasov (CISR).

    The aims of the research are: to reveal the reasons for emerging eco-villages; to consider and to describe ideologems and socio-economic mechanisms providing for their existence; and to analyze social and economic problems of eco-villages, as well as the prospects of their development. The methods of biographical interviewing, participation observation and the analysis of documents will be used.

    Participants: Alla Bolotova, Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Svetlana Pchelkina, Maria Tysiachniouk, Dmitry Vorobjov.

    Supported by CISR, private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    Informing Environmental Decision-Making: Environmental Impact Assessment in Russia and the United States (09.1999 - 05.2000)

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), Alexander Karpov (SPb Society of Naturalists)

    Exchange project between Russian NGOs and academics (CISR, SPb Society of Naturalists, "Green World" Society, Volgograd State Pedagogical University) and the US counterparts from Ramapo College of New Jersey. The aims of the project are: to establish partnerships between NGOs and selected institutions of Higher Education for the purpose of training in the areas of public participation in environmental impact assessment; to promote a shared understanding of comparative assessment policy and practice between the United States and Russia involving an opportunity to exchange mutual ideas on how to improve the impact assessment process; to conduct a comparative sociological analysis of the process of environmental impact assessment in Russia and the USA. A comparative sociological analysis of case studies in Russia (St.Petersburg, Petrozavodsk, Pestovo) and in the USA (New York - New Jersey) was conducted. As a result of the research a book was published in both Russian and English.

    Participants from CISR: Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Supported by "Trust for Mutual Understanding" Society, private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    Estimation of Needs of Refuge Children in St.Petersburg: Psychological and Social, Educational Aspects (09.1999 - 12.1999)

    Coordinator: Katerina Gerasimova (CISR).

    The project was initiated by the UNHCR Department at St.Petersburg. As a result of the research, the recommendations for further work of St.Petersburg UNHCR Department with children from refugee families and asylum-seekers were worked out. The basic methods of the research: psychological testing, in-depth and expert interviewing, questioning of parents and teenagers of target group.

    Participants from CISR: Olga Brednikova, Katerina Gerasimova, Olga Kalacheva, Irina Nazarova, Olga Nebelitskaya.

    Supported by UNHCR.


    Fostering Successful Partnerships in Watershed Protection in the US and Russia (10.1999-10.2000)

    Coordinators: Maria Tysiachniouk (CISR), Jane Wolfson (University Tovson).

    Cooperative exchange project between scientists and representatives of non-governmental organizations involved in watershed protection from the United States and Russia. Goals: To forge partnerships between citizen groups and expert scientists from universities and research organizations in the United States and Russia to address water pollution problems; to assess and develop strategies to improve political opportunities for citizen involvement in watershed protection in Russia and the US. The comparative sociological analysis of NGOs protecting watersheds in the US and Russia was conducted.

    Participants from CISR: Antonina Kuliasova, Ivan Kuliasov, Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Project is sponsored by the "Trust for Mutual Understanding" Society and private funds of Maria Tysiachniouk.


    Women and the Russian Army (11.1999 - 11.2000)

    A joint project with the University of Bremen.

    Coordinator: Elena Zdravomyslova (CISR).

    The aim of the project is to analyze the discourse on the issue in mass media.

    Participants from CISR: Elena Parshina, Elena Zdravomyslova.

    Supported by the University of Bremen and CISR.


    2000

    Adaptation of Russian Scientists to Changing Socio-Economic Conditions (01.2000 - 12.2000)

    Joint project with the Centre for Sociological Research and Studies of Science of RAS (CSRSS of RAS).

    Coordinator: Samuil Kugel (CSRSS of RAS).

    The project was aimed at the analysis of adaptation strategies of scientists and scientific organizations in the context of new economic conditions. In the course of the research, semi-structural interviews with the officials of scientific organizations were conducted.

    Participant from CISR: Irina Olimpieva.

    Supported by the Russian Humanities Scientific Foundation.


    "Other Russians": Mobilized Mentality (06.2000 - 02.2002)

    Coordinator: Boris Firsov (the European University at St. Petersburg).

    The project is focused on the study of so-called "other Russians". This category includes settled inhabitants of "national republics" of the former USSR. Traditionally the local population ascribed them a special, ethnic closeness to the central authority, industrial civilization etc. Along with the aforementioned, this category usually involves labour migrants, geodesists, oil industry workers, officers et al. who had found themselves outside Russia after the disintegration of the USSR. Children from so-called mixed families who were socialized as "Russians" and also the representatives of the peoples whose ethnicity was equated by the local population with the Russian one, also referres to this category. The research methods are: participant observation in the milieu of "other Russians", network analysis, interviewing, the composing of biographic fund.

    Participant from CISR: Sergej Damberg.

    Supported by the MacArthur Foundation.


    The Influence of "Donor" Foundations on Social Changes in Russia (08.2000 - 01.2001)

    The joint project with the St.Petersburg Institute of Sociology of RAS (SRb ISRAS).

    Coordinator: Josif Gurvitch.

    The purpose of the research was to estimate the efficiency of foundations' project support in the form of grants. The research was based on the selection of the projects that had been provided with the grant support of the "Open Society" Institute in the Northwest region for the period from 1995 to 2000. In the course of the research, detailed interviews with the participants of the aforementioned projects and the representatives of target groups were conducted. The survey of the population of St.Petersburg and the selective analysis of publications about the attitude towards foreign foundations were made.

    Participant from CISR: Eduard Fomin.

    Supported by the "Open Society" Institute.


    Nuclear Disarmament, Nuclear Secures and Civil Society (08.2000 - 02.2001)

    Joint project of the Center for Independent Social Research, NGO "Green World", St.Petersburg Society of Naturalists, Civil Initiative, Association of Environmental Journalists.

    Coordinator: Alexander Karpov (St.Petersburg Society of Naturalists).

    Goal: Investigation of the possibilities of public participation and interaction between the NGOs and Nuclear Industry.

    Participant from CISR: Svetlana Pchelkina.

    Supported by ISAR Program.


    The Generation of the Seventies in Modern Elite (08.2000 - 05.2001)

    Joint project with the University of Helsinki.

    Coordinator: Elena Zdravomyslova (CISR).

    The purpose of the project is to analyze the identity of the generation born just after the World War II (Baby-boomers), who are known in the West as the generation of rioters (pokolenie buntarej) that shook bourgeois values both in public and in private spheres of life. In Russia this was the generation of the so-called "seventies generation". The research is focused on comparing the generations of baby-boomers in Russia and those in the West countries (Finland, Sweden, France etc.). This and other questions will be analyzed on the basis of 25-30 biographic narrative-focused interviews with the representatives of cultural, economic and political elite as the avant guarde of the generation.

    Participant from CISR: Elena Zdravomyslova.

    Supported by the Academy of Finland (Helsinki University).


    Sexual Culture of Contemporary Teenagers (09.2000 - 12.2001)

    Coordinator: Elena Zdravomyslova (CISR).

    Joint project with the University of Helsinki.

    Within the framework of the project, interviews with schoolboys and schoolgirls who are visitors of the organization "JUVENTA" are being conducted based on the guidelines developed by the post-graduate student of the Helsinki University L. Ihamaki. JUVENTA is a consulting and medical institution involved in the problems of sexuality and inter-sexual relationships. The object of the research is the sexual culture of adolescents, the practices of their sexual relationships, their attitude towards contraception, homosexuality, safe sex etc.

    Participants from CISR: Elena Zdravomyslova, Åkaterina Pushkareva.

    Supported by the Academy of Finland (Helsinki University).


    2001

    Preliminary Conditions of Ecological Modernization in Russian Cities (the case of Sokol of the Vologda region and Svetogorsk of the Leningrad Region) (01.2001 - 12.2003)

    The joint project of CISR and the University Joensuu, Finland.

    Coordinators: Antonina Kuliasova (CISR), Kortilainen Jarmo (University Joensuu).

    The purpose: the analysis of preliminary conditions and opportunities for ecological modernization in cities of Northwest Russia where pulp and paper mills play an important role in the nfrastructure development of the city. It is assumed to conduct a research at the enterprises in Sokol and Svetogorsk, to reveal managerial personnel’s and workers’ attitudes to the opportunities of ecological modernization at the enterprise and to ecological problems of the region The exploration of the socio-economic and ecological situation in Sokol and Svetogorsk, the attitudes of the local population and non-state organizations towards ecological and socio-economic problems caused by the activity of pulp and paper mills will be carried out.

    Participants from CISR: Alla Bolotova, Ivan Kuliasov, Antonina Kuliasova, Maria Tysiachniouk, Dmitry Vorobjov.

    Supported by the Academy of Finland (University Joensuu).


    Some of the CISR researchers are engaged in individual projects (financed by a variety of foundations or by CISR), and also participate in the projects of other institutes and organizations.


    Individual Research Projects

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    Download Newsletter 2005 in MS Word, RTF or PDF format.

    Entrepreneurial Strategies of Modern Russia (09.1996 - 11.1998)

    The aim of the project was to study the quasi-religious phenomenon of the increasing activity of various magicians, wizards, quacks and other representatives of esoteric sciences closely connected with magician practices. The project investigates mechanisms which contribute to a rationally organized industry's production of irrational (magical) convictions and practices. Research methods are: participation observation and the analysis of press sources connected with the theme of the research.

    Researcher: Oleg Patchenkov.  

    Supported by CISR.


    A Soviet Communal Flat (09.1997 - 06.1999)

    The aim of the project is to study the phenomenon of the communal flat from the its emergence until the period of housing privatization. Inhabitants' accustomed concepts of privacy, social order and structure, as well as behavioral norms and regulations for home and family life, are being analyzed. The methods of the research are biographical focus-interviewing and observation.

    Researcher: Katerina Gerasimova.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg.


    Identity Transformation in Forming Nationality State: Russian-speaking Population of Estonia (10.1997 - 10.2000)

    The aim of the project was to study the transformation and construction of identity of the Russian-speaking population of Estonia. The research was conducted in the context of mutual relations of Estonian and Russian nationality discourses of the non-Estonian population. The analysis of relevant Russian and English literature, of Russian and Russian-speaking Estonian press sources, and of biographical and problem-oriented interviews was undertaken.

    Researcher: Elena Nikiforova.

    Supported by CISR.


    Fictitious Marriage as Migration Strategy in Soviet and Post-Soviet Russia (02.1998 - 01.1999)

    The aim of the project was to study informal strategies of deconstructing migration barriers in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. Problem-oriented interviews with persons who have had the experience of fictitious marriage were taken.

    Researcher: Aglaya Toporova.

    Supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation.


    Promoting Public Participation in Sustainable Development Through the Efforts of the Third Sector (03.1998 - 12.1999)

    The aim of the research is to monitor and analyze NGO sustainability initiatives on the national, regional and local level in North Western Russia, as well as to promote sustainable development in St.Petersburg region using participant observation and sociological intervention techniques. The sociological analysis of the movement towards sustainable development in Russia with an assessment of the role of the Third Sector in this movement was made. Several articles and a practical guide for use by Russian NGOs :"Designing Sustainability in Communities" was published.

    Researcher: Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Supported by the MacArthur Foundation.


    Housing in a Soviet City (the case of Leningrad, 1918-1991): historical sociology research (07.1998 - 07.2000)

    The aim of the project is to show how housing policy and construction practices in Leningrad were connected with structural transformations of Soviet society and changes in the everyday lives of the city's inhabitants. Archival and statistical data have been gathered, and legislation and other documents on architecture and housing construction within the relevant time period have been studied in the course of the research work. Biographical and focus interviews with inhabitants of the city were conducted, with the purpose of reconstructing their housing biographies and differences in the organization of their everyday lives as a result of their different living conditions.

    Researcher: Katerina Gerasimova.

    Supported by the Open Society Institute.


    "'Caucasians' Discourse": Mass Communication and Daily Life (08.1998 - 05.2000)

    The aim of the project is to select various discourses which in different ways participate in (re)production of ethnic prejudices. A search and a discursive analysis of texts "about 'Caucasians'" in the Russian press, as well as analysis of the texts of in-depth problematic interviews, are being conducted. Analysis is aimed at determination of the cognitive strategies used by inhabitants and journalists who express their attitudes towards ethnic minorities. The main data were collected within the CISR's collective research project "'Caucasians' in a Big City: Integration in the Context of Xenophobia," under the financial support of the MacArthur Foundation.

    Researcher: Oksana Karpenko.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg.


    Anthropological and Sociological Research of the Phenomenon of "Beggaring" (08.1998 - 05.2000)

    The research from an anthropological perspective here indicates the exploration of emergent milieu, corresponding lifestyles and "professional" practices. Sociological analysis consists of the consideration of beggaring as a interaction of two parties: a beggar and an alms giver. An economic sociology approach is adopted as the theoretical frame. Primary methods used in the project are as follows: observation, participant-observation and interviewing.

    Researcher: Maria Koudriavtseva.

    Supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation and the European University at St.Petersburg.


    Life-Cycle Festivals in a Sociological Context (09.1998 - 06.1999)

    The aim of the project was to show the meaning of festivals through analysis of meaningful differences (gender, age) in the structure and practices of festive events. The methodological basis of the research was a constructivist approach. The basic methods of data collection were leitmotif problematic interviews and participant-observation.

    Researcher: Olga Kalacheva.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg.


    Sociological Analysis of the Amateur Fishermen Subculture (the case of St.Petersburg and the Leningradskaya oblast') (10.1998 - 02.1999)

    The aim of the project was to describe a subculture that emerged as a result of joint leisure practices and to determine its basic elements and practices. A number of groups of amateur fishermen were objects of the research. The methodology of participant-observation was used, in combination with in-depth interviewing.

    Researcher: Boris Gladarev.

    Supported by CISR.


    Animal Shelters: New Strategies and Practices of Beggaring in Russia (11.1998 - 05.1999)

    The project deals with studying private animal shelters in St.Petersburg. The aim of the project is to explore the mechanisms of the formation of the milieu and its position in the informal economy. Research methods included participant observation and in-depth interviewing, as well as analysis of mass media on the issue.

    Researcher: Elena Parshina.

    Supported by CISR.


    Building Sustainable Communities in Russia (09.1998 - 09.2000)

    The project is aimed at promoting Agenda XXI process in communities along the Neva River (Chlisselburg, Kirovsk, Pavlovo, Ustizhora and Utka). A community visioning and sustainable development indicators project for communities situated on the bank of the Neva River were initiated by the Neva River Clearwater organization and the Center for Independent Social Research. Several analytical papers were written as a research outcome of the project. A practical guide on community visioning and indicators was developed.

    Researcher: Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Sponsored by the RSS Program of the Open Society Institute.


    Rural Strategies of Economic Behavior of the Urban Population: Dacha Informal Economic Activity Comparative Analysis of a City and a Town (the cases of St.Petersburg and Novaya Ladoga) (12.1998 - 12.1999)

    The aim of the project is to explore Soviet and post-Soviet practices of dacha labour within the framework of self-consumption economy. In total, 20 interviews were conducted with inhabitants of St.Petersburg and Novaya Ladoga who deal with dachas or collective gardens (sadovodstvo) and work in them with the purpose of self-provisioning.

    Researcher: Irina Chekhovskih.

    Supported by CISR.


    Political Extremism in Russia (01.1999 - 06.1999)

    The project includes the analysis of publications in the Russian press devoted to the activity of extremist organizations. The case study "National Bolsheviks Party in St.Petersburg" was written based on the results of the research. Research methods: open observation and interviewing.

    Researcher: Aglaya Toporova.

    Supported by the Berlin Centre for Democratic Culture.


    Building Sustainable Communities in Russia and the United States (01.1999 - 01.2000)

    The research of sustainable development practices was being conducted simultaneously in Russia and the United States. The differences and common threads of sustainability initiatives in both countries were investigated, the same methodology and approach to the description of case studies were used. A book was published based on the results of the research.

    Researcher: Maria Tysiachniouk.

    Supported by Fulbright Senior Exchange Program.


    Gender Resources of Ecological Movement (the case of St.Petersburg) (02.1999 - 07.2000)

    The aim of the research is to explore the gender resources of the public ecological movement and to investigate structural and situation restrictions on the development of women's activities in the movement. Value systems, motivations for participation, and role and activity division, as well as attitudes towards the environment and the formation of ecological consciousness, are being considered in the context of gender. In the course of work within the project, in-depth interviews with leaders of the ecological movement of St.Petersburg are being conducted. In addition, the method of participant-observation of ecological NGOs' activities is used.

    Researcher: Alla Bolotova.

    Supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation.


    Attitudes towards "Caucasians" in Russian Cities in the Context of Xenophobia (the case of St.Petersburg) (02.1999 - 07.2000)

    The analysis of formation, reproduction and realization of xenophobic attitudes of the population towards the representatives of ethnic groups united by public opinion by ethnonim "Caucasians". The aims of the research are: to reveal xenophobic attitudes of the population towards "Caucasians" in a big Russian city; to show how they are being formed and reproduced in daily life; to define/determine the degree and the forms of their influence on the growth of xenophobia and racism in the country as a whole, and on the emergence of discrimination practices at different levels of social life.

    Researcher: Oleg Patchenkov.

    Supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation.


    Building Post-Communist Communities in Russia (the Case of "Tibercule" Eco-village) (02.1999 - 07.2000)

    The aims of the project were: to reveal and analyze the problems connected with building communal life in "Tibercule" eco-village; to find out the reasons for people's affiliation to a closed social environment in the conditions of developing democracy and the market relations; to describe the economic, social and ethical mechanisms of the community's development. The methods of biographical interviewing, participant observation and the analysis of documents were used. The results of the research were contributed to the proceedings of the international conference.

    Researcher: Antonina Kuliasova.

    Supported by the Heinrich-Boell Foundation.


    Border in the Countryside: New Cultural Scenarios (07.1999 - 10.2000)

    The aim of the project is to consider the Russian-Estonian borderland as a special cultural space and to analyze the process of new emerging groups in the Pechora area of the Russian borderland - Setu and Kossaks - who use the border as a resource, their strategies concerning border, the probable scenarios of their mutual relation. The basic methods of the research are the participant observation, problem-oriented and biographic interviewing.

    Researcher: Elena Nikiforova.

    Supported by CISR.


    Caucasians in a Russian City: Problems of Discrimination of Ethnic Minorities (09.1999 - 10.2000)

    The research was focused on the analysis of discriminative practices towards immigrants from the former southern republics of the USSR (Transcaucasia, Northern Caucasus and Central Asia) in big Russian cities. The aims are as follows: to reveal and to show the discriminative practices towards "Caucasians" as the most conflictive ethnic group in public opinion in today's Russia; to describe the factors of emerging xenophobia and racism and the forms of their demonstration, to offer the variants of the decision of the problem.

    Researcher: Oleg Patchenkov.

    Supported by the RSS Program (Open Society Institute).


    Lifestyle of Participants of Ecological Movements: Everyday Practices Transformation: Gender Perspective (09.1999 - 06.2001)

    The research is focused on gender aspects of the transformation processes of daily practices of the participants of the Russian ecological movement. The emphasis is made on gender aspects and the comparative analysis of the participants' lifestyles and ecological practices. The ecological movement is analyzed as subculture where people's daily actions are re-estimated in the context of their influence on nature.

    Researcher: Alla Bolotova.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg and CISR.


    Frontier People: Setus and Cossacks (10.1999 - 02.2001)

    The project is, on the one hand, a continuation of the research on the Setu ethnic group living in the Russian-Estonian borderland. On the other hand, it is a starting point in studying the current "revival" of the Cossacks. The project explores a frontier factor in the history of the formation of two groups - the Setus and the Cossacks. The idea was formed in the course of the field research in the Petchora area on the Russian-Estonian border, where both groups are represented.

    Researcher: Elena Nikiforova.

    Supported by CISR.


    Forming and Functioning Milieu (the case of Leningrad Palace of Pioneers) (01.2000 - 07.2000)

    The aim of the project is to explore the process of forming milieu, to analyze functioning social networks in the course of changing socio-economic structure (1975-2000).

    Researcher: Boris Gladarev.

    Supported by the Russian Academy of Education.


    Discursive Reproduction of Russian Borders: Rhetoric of Soviet "Iron Curtain" and Post-Soviet "Gates to Europe" (01.2000 - 09.2000)

    The research is aimed at deconstruction and analysis of mechanisms of discursive reproduction of the border between Russia and Finland. Newspaper publications covering border issues, texts of interviews with people with the experience of dealing with the border, as well as "life stories" (so-called Petersburg folklore), are used as a material to be analyzed.

    Researcher: Olga Brednikova.

    Supported by CISR.


    New Russian Borders and Modern Cossacks Renaissance (02.2000 - 12.2001)

    This project considers the role of state borders in the Cossacks’ identity construction, with a focus on the Cossacks in "non-Cossacks’" regions. The perspectives of the Cossacks’ revival is being explored in the light of the meanings attributed to borders in contemporary Russia (state position towards borders, the Cossacks’ vision on borders and border protection, the mass media discourse on the issue). At the current stage of the study, the main methods in use are the following: the analysis of mass media materials, the analysis of documents and other secondary sources. Field work is in planning as well.

    Researcher: Elena Nikiforova.

    Supported by CISR.


    Right-Wing Extremism in Russia (04.2000 - 12.2000)

    The analysis of the publications in the Russian press sources covering the activity of extremists' organizations (monitoring).

    Researcher: Irina Ivleva.

    Supported by the Centre of Democratic Culture (Berlin).


    Problems of Poverty: International Features and Local Peculiarities (06.2000 - 07.2000)

    The research was based on a case study on one of a homelles shelters in San Antonio (Texas), and was considered as an initial stage of comparative research on the problem of poverty in the USA and Russia. In the course of the research, methods of participant observation and interviewing were used.

    Researcher: Irina Olimpieva.

    Supported by JFDP/ACTR


    Developing Social Activism and Forming Community among HIV-infected in Kaliningrad and Moscow (07.2000 - 01.2001)

    The purpose of the research was to compare the development of social activism and the formation of community among HIV-infected in a small city (Kaliningrad) and a megalopolis (Moscow). The research was focused on the study and analysis of factors that influence or hamper the formation of community and the development of HIV-activism. In the case of non-emerging the community - other resources used by the people with HIV for AIDS stigma management were explored. In the case of emerging prospective community - the process of designing symbolical borders between the community of HIV-infected and the society, the internal structure of community of HIV-infected and its specific characteristics, and also the structure and features of public movement of the HIV-active workers were studied. The strategy and mechanisms, which HIV-active people use for changing negative representations about illness and the struggle for change of social and political conditions of life of those infected were investigated. The research was conducted by the methods of participant observation and interviewing.

    Researcher: Inna Vyshemirskaya.

    Supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation.


    Survival and Coping Strategies of Drug Addicts: NGO Participation (07.2000 - 09.2001)

    The aim of the project is to research and describe the activity of NGOs of various types that render assistance for drug addicts in North-West Russia. In the course of work within the project, the accumulation and interpretation of life-stories of drug addicts are being conducted. Research methods: participant-observation, in-depth interviewing, analysis of published data in the mass media.

    Researcher: Natalia Fedorova.

    Supported by the RSS Program (Open Society Institute)


    Community of Deaf Persons: Practice of Discrimination of Linguistic Minority (08.2000 - 01.2002)

    The purpose of the project is to analyze the daily discriminative practices and the institution of social segregation of the members of the community of deaf persons. The difficulties of the language, in both verbal and written form, as well as the communicative practice in the space of gestural language results in the social exception of deaf and semi-deaf persons, making their valuable participation in the life of the society inaccessible and actualizing the problem of social consequences of deafness. The strategy of the research is to reconstruct a social sense of deafness, based on the materials of expert, problem-oriented and biographic interviews, publications in the mass-media, and also the data fixed by the researcher in a field diary. A publication on the results of the research is forthcoming.

    Researcher: Antonina Oblasova.

    Supported by the Heinrich Boell Foundation.


    Dairy Method and its Application for the Social Network Research: Prospects of the Method Development (09.2000 - 12.2000)

    The purpose of the research was to test the dairy method and to analyze its opportunities for studying social networks.

    Researcher: Boris Gladarev.

    Supported by CIMO (Finland).


    Former Aristocrats in the Soviet City: Leningrad 1920’s-1930’s (09.2000 - 12.2000)

    The research was a continuation of a dissertation project, which aimed at collecting some additional material and preparing of publications. Using biographical methods, life trajectories of ex-aristocrats were analyzed in comparison with the representatives of other old elites and with "white emigration" in France. The goal of the project was the study of change in social structure during the transformation period.

    Researcher: Sofia Tchouikina.

    Supported by KONE Foundation (Finland).


    Transforming Social Meanings and Discursive Reproduction of Borders of Current Russia (09.2000 - 06.2001)

    The aims of the project are: to select main discursive strategies of the (re)production of current borders of Russia (national, political, territorial, social, symbolical etc.); to reconstruct and interpret the senses ascribed to the border; to correlate "high" discourse (ideological discourse fixed in the state documents and texts of the mass-media, reproducing the official concept of the border) and daily one; to carry out a retrospective analysis and to analyze the transformation of social meanings of Soviet and post-Soviet borders. The texts dealing with border issues, including the legislation documents regulating crossing the border; publications in the mass media, art tests devoted to the border (fiction, films, folklore - jokes, life-stories); the texts of narrative interviews with experts and with the people who had crossed the border were the object of the research.

    Researcher: Olga Brednikova.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg and CISR.


    Begging as Economic Strategy (09.2000 - 07.2002)

    The purpose of the research is to investigate begging as a specific form of economic activity, depending on socio-economic, political, historical situation, and also in a local context. The interest was stipulated by actualization of the theme of "professional begging" in public discourse and by practically complete absence of socio-economic studies on the issue. The object of the research is divided (conventionally) into two categories: beggars and those who give (or do not give) alms. The influence of historical, cultural, political circumstances (macrolevel) and of a local context (microlevel) on formation of current "successful" model of begging are being studies.

    This project is a continuation of the research being conducted by the author since January 1998.

    Researcher: Ìaria Kudriavtseva.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg.


    Power Relations in Mediaproduction: Typology of Influence on TVnews Creation in Contemporary Russia (09.2000 - 08.2002)

    The purpose of the research is to reveal typical practice of influence on media production in transforming Russia and to answer the following questions: who are the main acting persons able to influence a final product of the mass media communications, what resources do they have, what strategy and tactics do they apply, what are the actions of media-producers in respect to the agents of the external control. The methods of data collection were used, including:

    - data of participant observation obtained in the course of the study "Peculiarities of communication space formation in transforming TV";

    - interviewing of journalists, agents of the external control and experts;

    - analysis of the archive of the "Glasnost’" Foundation based on the monitoring of conflicts and offenses in the mass media;

    - analysis of other written sources and their consequent revision. The edition of the book based on the results of research is supposed.

    Researcher: Elena Koltsova.

    Supported by RSS ("Open Society" Institute).


    The Homeless in Russia: Making Social Group (09.2000 - 06.2003)

    The research is focused on the institutional changes (transformation of legislation and creation of the new type of organizations and services) and changes in representation of the homeless in Russia in the 90’s and the influence of these changes on the characteristics and composition of the homeless.

    Researcher: Zoja Solovieva.

    Supported by the European University at St.Petersburg.


    The Elderly Women - Expenditures and Incomes (03.2000 - 03.2002)

    The project aims to explore a daily housekeeping of single elderly women. The aim of the research is to analyze how these people, living alone, "make ends meet" in the conditions of low pensions and the depreciation of their savings as a result of inflation, and what resources they use.

    This is an experimental research in the genre of the study of survival strategies and adaptation to complex socio-economic situation. The methods used in the research are the following: three-months budget monitoring (March-May, 2000. A panel is planned to be held in 2001), focused interviewing about the resources and the practices of coping with a situation. Five female-informants will take part in the research.

    Researcher: Elena Zdravomyslova.


    ©  Centre for Independent Social Research, 2001