Volunteer work in Russian society and Russian sociology: A glance from abroad

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The author presents three models of volunteer work (utilizing critical analysis of Russian and foreign research as a basis) which compete for prominence in the Russian public consciousness. These three models - traditional, Soviet and democratic - correspond semantically with three intersecting concepts in the Russian discourse - "charity", "dobrovolchestvo" (which literally translates to "volunteerism") and "volunteer work". They act as independent cultural and ideological concepts and symbolize the more or less probable scenarios of Russian civil society development. However, since the results of recent empirical studies conducted by Russian sociologists lean towards the "Soviet" model, studying the latter has become an important task. Qualitative retrospective empirical studies of Soviet experience which "somewhat resembles volunteering" (millions of Russians are carriers of said experience) can be useful not only when it comes to forming a deeper understanding of modern Russian volunteering, but also when it comes to its development.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-152
Number of pages17
JournalSotsiologicheskiy Zhurnal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • Civil society
  • Russia
  • Soviet experience
  • Volunteering

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences


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