Traumatized society and its phantoms
Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Professor, Head of the Department of Sociology, Siberian Federal Unversity, firstname.lastname@example.org
The subject of this critical review is a new monograph by Zhan Toshchenko (“Phantoms of Russian society.” Moscow: Center for Social Forecasting and Marketing. 2015. 668 p.), which continues a series of his publications analyzing the deformation of the mass consciousness of modern Russian society. The new study is an attempt to overcome inefficiency of a number of approaches used to analyze Russian society in transition. In this case, the original methodology has been used, resulting in reasonable criteria used to select existing in it phantom types: authority, capital, and glory, as well as socio-psychological characteristics of personality. Toshchenko displays the sources of deformations in the public consciousness of the Russian society, which occurred over the past three decades. In the opinion of the author, they are related to a serious trauma of the society and gave birth to its anomie. Today, widely spread are simulation processes that replace real activity in all its forms and at all levels of social organization. It is important that the author of the book explores not only the reasons of the mentioned deformations, but he makes an attempt to forecast the further developments. At the same time the monograph combines academic objectivity with journalistic presentation rich in metaphors and images.
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