Russi Social Structure and Geographic Demographics a
Introduction• Russian culture is rich in contradictions: resources that cannot be used, a lot of water sources but no rain, etc.• Russia between East and West• Striving to be like Europe, influenced by the East also• The national character is a combination of qualities such as: the habit of patient struggle against misfortunes and hardships; ability to concentrate efforts; ability to cooperate within large geographic space• Expansionism probably caused by their need to look for more resources• Large territory produces political upheaval and wide diversity.• Weather and climate dictates their lifestyle: health problems, shortage of food, industries developed, etc.• A famous intellectual, P. Chaadaev defined contradictive Russian national character by such features as: brutality and inclination to violence; impersonal collectivism; Messianism; internal freedom; kindness; humanism; gentleness; search for truth• Russian Territory changes through time
Geography• -Largest Country in Total Area• Closer to the North Pole than the Equator• One-eighth of the Earths inhabited land area• Europe and Asia. European side home to most of Russias industrial and agricultural activity• Russian border is the worlds longest (14 countries), a source of substantial concern for national security• Five regions: the tundra zone; the taiga, or forest, zone; the steppe, or plains, zone; the arid zone; and the mountain zone.• Tundra 11% of Russia• Taiga most extensive. Russian Taiga has the worlds largest reserves of coniferous wood.• Greatest reserves of mineral resources and mineral fuels of any country in the world.• Contains most of the nonferrous metals.• The Ural Mountains form the natural boundary between Europe and Asia• Russia is a water-rich country• The Volga, Europes longest river, is by far Russias most important commercial waterway.• Only two seasons, summer and winter. Coldest Country in the World. Six months of snow.
People• Life expectancy: 67• Fertility Rate: 1.27/ per woman• Ethnic groups:• Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002 census)-The length and severity of the winter, together with the sharp fluctuations in the mean summer and winter temperatures, impose special requirements on many branches of the economy. Religion: Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other• Literacy: 99.6%• More than 50% of the Russian adult population has attained a tertiary education• Unemployment rate: Russia 6.2% (2008 est.)• Affects where and how long people live and work, what kinds of crops are grown, and where they are grown (no part of the country has a year-round growing season).• Labor Force by Occupation: Agriculture (10%), industry (31.9%), services (58.1%)
Pre-Soviet Russia1- Ancient Russia• Started as a collection of cities that gradually coalesced into an empire.• The Varangians from scandanavia first came to the eastern Europe-the city of Novgorod.• Trade center between Scandinavia and constantinople,• Then extended his control to the far south, and he divide his rules to his three sons, and then the Kievan Rus sunk into internecine strife, and at that time Mosscow as a city came out.2 -The invasion of Mongols• The Kievan Russ was decisively destroyed by the arrival of new invader-the Mongols in 1237, a grandson of Jenghiz Khan.• After almost 200 years under rule of Mongols, in 1480, the Ivan III the Great brought Moscow ended the rule of the Mongols for good.3- The Romanov• At the end era of Ivan III the Great, Russia again sunk into chaos• In 1613, the people in Moscow selected Michael Romanov as Tsar• The Romanov dynasty was to rule Russia for 304 years, untill the Russian Revolution.• Peter the Great first pushed Russia to absorb the technologies and political system of western countries, and then Catherine the Great then carried out the policies of the Peter the Great.
Pre-Soviet Russia4 - Napoleons invasion of Russia• In 1812, Napoleon attempted to invade Russia and force Tsar Alexander to submit• The failure of Napoleon was not due to the ability of his troop but because of the clement cold weather of Russian winter.5 - The path to revolution• Sharp social contradictions and conflicts:, such as the over centralized power of Tsarism, the serfdoms of Russia and the huge gaps between rich people and poor people of Russia etc.• After Revolution many contries formerly belonged to Russia became independent.• During civil war, many of those countries decided to be united within one country, (rudimentary Soviet Union),• Affected by the spirit of freedom of western countries, many workers united to form a local political councils or soviets which was the predecessor of bolshevik• Under the lead of Lenin, Bolshevi took the power of Russia, and then the Soviet Union was created.
Pre-Soviet Russia• Russia located in the area between Asia and Europe, so both its political and cultural structure have been affected by both western and eastern cultures.• Russia’s main river, the Volga, is located on the European side. Most of agriculture happens in the region, and that facilitated settlements in the area. There is also a natural barrier between European Russia and Asian Russia, so they were more likely to look to Europe.• Peter the Great and Catherine the Great followed the Russian desire to imitate the grandeur of Europe. They highly supported education, healthcare, and culture. Education in Russia is a source for pride since their time• Napoleons’s failure was only due to the inclement weather, which speaks of their weather conditions and how it affects political aspects as well.• The European influence also led them to start a revolution.
Soviet Russia• Russian expansionism at its peak. Concentrating on countries to the South.• Largest Political and Social experiment ever undertaken—the formation of the Soviet Union.• The lines of control ran from the top down, through a rigid hierarchy constructed and staffed by the ruling Communist Party of the Soviet Union.• Despite Marxist-Leninist notions of a classless society, the Soviet Union had a powerful ruling class, the nomenklatura , which consisted of party officials and key personnel in the government and other important sectors such as heavy industry.• Civil society was nonexistent – "the elements such as freedom of speech, an independent judiciary, etc, that make up a democratic society”• The social structure of the Soviet Union was characterized by self-perpetuation and limited mobility.• The period of stagnation meant a sluggish economy of a period reduced opportunities for social mobility, thus accentuating differences among social groups and further widening the gap between the nomenklatura and the rest of society.
Soviet Russia• Cultural elements produced by Soviet Russia Time Orientation – The society at large is quite disoriented and uncertain about the future. – The continuous government reshuffling, changes in legislation, political instability add to this enormously. – People and businesses in mid-1990s did not rely on savings, quickly transferring inflated rubles into hard currencies and/or spending money above all thinkable limits. – The signs of economic stabilization in 2000-2001 are still coupled with mass suspicion to authorities and their promises about future positive changes.• Hierarchy – Pre-Revolutionary period the power in the society was distributed unevenly- • a system of serfdom • a weak middle class – Soviet • strong centralization of power in the hands of state • suppressive control systems over people’s behavior. The tradition of respect for authority is still strong in contemporary Russian society. Most managers and factory directors were not rewarded for achieving high results that did not fit into the state-designed economic plans • Nowadays, the state and legislation are lagging behind the energetic expression of initiative and competition in the economy.•
Soviet Russia• Collectivist and Individualists – Social frame did not permit a high level of individual freedom, – (winning was not always appreciated). – Russian collectivism was formal, prescribed by the social institutions. – The Party also took responsibility in substituting family and natural group loyalty with the loyalty to the political system and the state. – That is why Russia currently displays the striking contradictions of highly individualistic behavior, low social responsibility, and at the same time active networking for survival (often exploited by criminal structures).
Post-Soviet Russia• Geography• It is the largest country in the world covering 11.46 % of the Earths total land mass and spanning 11 time zones *Over 3/4 of Russians live in European Russia despite 3/4 of Russia being Asian Russia *Russia maintains a vast amount of natural resources and contains the largest oil reserves, water reserves from lakes, diamond deposits, fish reserves, and much more.• People• The large land mass has allowed for a diversity of nationalities that is extraordinary. *The three main ethnic groups are the Altaic group (Turkic language speakers), the Uralic group (Finnic people), and the Caucasus group (Caucasus people)Separatist movements have spawned because of the diversity of Russia and the regional accumulation of certain nationalities *The success of the separatist movement is highly correlated to the land that the nationalities live on (South Ossetia v. Chechnya)
Post-Soviet Russia• Current Demographic Problem• Since the collapse of the Soviet Empire, Russia has been shrinking in population at a fast rate• *In 2004, it was recorded that Russia had decreased in population size by 3 %.• There are several contributing factors to why this is happening:• *Low birth rates• -Infertility, marriage, economic situation, and health coverage from the government• *High death rates• -Preventable deaths are common in Russia• *High emigration• -1.25 million Russians left the country from 2001 to 2011 for reasons varying from politics to job opportunities• Putins plan to revive the Russian population• *Encourage Russian women to give birth• *Create a wealthier, less impoverished Russia• *Encourage immigration from both Russians and other educated nationals
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