Informal Practices of the Russian Elite (An Approbation of Cognitive Approach) 26

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2003.04.03
For citation:

Daugavet A.B. Informal Practices of the Russian Elite (An Approbation of Cognitive Approach) 26 . – Polis. Political Studies. 2003. No. 4. P. 26-38. (In Russ.).


The article discusses prospects for the so-called cognitive approach to be applied when studying informal practices of Russian power elites. Proceeding from the postulate that participants of informal interaction possess certain common (institutional) knowledge, which includes: (a) criteria of orientation within the field of interaction, and, among these, criteria for judging as to “correctness” of one’s own and of others’ behaviour, (b) coherent objectivated idea of these practices, and (c) their substantiation at the level of comprehending an institution’s social function or mission, — the author analyzes informal practices of the regional elite of St. Petersburg. A series of pilot interviews among people occupying high status positions in the political, economic and administrative spheres of municipal governance, constitutes the empirical basis of the research. According to the author’s conclusion, the system of interaction within the circles of the Russian elite has formed as an institution in view of the practices and institutional knowledge becoming structured, but it has not become an institution as implying a sense-generating activity constructing the “public meaning” and social identity of the individuals included.

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See also:

Solovyov A.I.,
Transcellular Structures as Form of Construction and Source of Self-Development of the State. – Polis. Political Studies. 2006. No6

Muskhelishvili M.,
Particularistic Democracy: a View from Post-Soviet Georgia. – Polis. Political Studies. 2001. No5

Pshizova S.N.,
Politics as a Business: Russian Version (II). – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No3

Astafyev Ya.U.,
Post-Modernism in Cognition of Society.. – Polis. Political Studies. 1992. No3

Korgunyuk Yu.G.,
Modern Russia’s Political Elite as Viewed from the Angle of Social Representation (II). – Polis. Political Studies. 2001. No2



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