Concepts in the Making: How Russians Define their Political World



Cross-cultural research challenges the foreign researcher’s ability to identify political patterns, partly because the insertion of one’s own cultural conceptualizations into the interpretation and analysis of these patterns is difficult to avoid. Most obviously, outside researchers should never assume the cultural meanings of particular events, political figures and societal issues, but instead should investigate them.


Political Participation Political Culture Female Nurse Negative Freedom Soviet Authority 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    G. Kress and R. Hodge, Language as Ideology (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd., 1979), p. 63.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    See also M. Urban, ‘The Politics of Identity in Russia’s Post Communist Transition: The Nation Against Itself’, Slavic Review, Vol. 53, no. 3 (Fall 1994), 733–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    While Lenin adapted Marxist ideology to Russian political culture, it is debatable whether Soviet political institutions were an extension of that political culture or a negation. Nicolai Petro contends that the Soviets repressed the democratic political culture that had been developing in the imperial period. Ironically, while accepting that the Soviets had altered Russia’s political roots, Russian philosopher Nikolai Berdiaev conceded a connection between Soviet communism and Russian indigenous communist traditions. See Petro, The Rebirth of Russian Democracy: An Interpretation of Political Culture (Cambridge: Harvard, 1995);Google Scholar
  4. and Berdiaev, The Origins of Russian Communism (London: The Centenary Press, 1937).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    J.J. Rousseau, ‘Discourses on the Origin of Inequality’, in D.A. Kress, ed., The Basic Political Writings (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987), p. 55. Rousseau claimed that the golden rule is a self-interested conceptualization of freedom.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Interview with Velena Pimenova, 23 October 1993, Syktyvkar. For a brief discussion of her husband, see A. Sakharov, Memoirs (New York: Vintage, 1992), pp. 314–18.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    For theoretical explanations of workplace democracy, see C. Pateman, Participation and Democratic Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge Press, 1970);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. and, P. and A. Botwinick, Power and Empowerment (Philadelphia: Temple University, 1992).Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    A. Swidler, ‘Inequality and American Culture: The Persistence of Voluntarism’, American Behavioral Scientist, Vol. 35, no. 4/5 (March/June 1992), 606–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© James Alexander 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern State UniversityTahlequahUSA

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