Socio-Psychological Factors of Preferences Regarding Socio-Economic and Socio-Political Activity of the Russian Provincial Youth

Author Name(s): Shamionov Rail M.
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The urgency of the problem lies in the need to analyse socio-psychological determinants of young people’s economic and political activity preferences. The purpose of the study is to investigate the directions of the relationships between preference of socio-economic and socio-political activity among young people and satisfaction of basic needs, riskiness, preference for sources of information about the country’s social life, attitudes towards the possibility of participation in social life and social activity in the country of residence. Methods. 305 people, who filled out the questionnaires, took part in the study, mean age М=21.2 SD=2.9 (35 % male), 64% were residents of big cities, 36% were residents of small towns (up to 100 000 residents) from the provincial Russian regions. As a result of correlation analysis, it was established that commitment to socio-political and socio-economic activity are closely interrelated. However, there are no direct relationships with socio-demographic characteristics and income of the respondents. Structural modeling helped to determine that the most suitable model (χ2=29.30; df=28; p=.398 ; CFI=.997; GFI=.983; RMSEA=.012) includes explanatory variables convictions regarding the capacity to demonstrate social activity in the country, experience of parents’ social activity, adherence to specific information sources (radio and organizations’ representatives ), satisfaction of basic needs for autonomy and competence, as well as riskiness. The objective explanatory variable is the exogenous variable “age”. It allows to identify the communication direction.


The problem of social activity of young people belongs to the scientific focus area of psychology, sociology, law, pedagogics and other sciences. Social activity of young people is an important foundation for society’s dynamic and innovative development. Socio-economic and socio-political activity of young people is an important achievement in a democratic society and acts as the engine of serious social processes, changes in political, economic, social and other systems. Since there is a continuous relationship between economic and political processes, these types of social activity of young people should be studied together. The urgency of the problem can be explained by the need to analyse socio-psychological determinants of young people’s economic and political preferences. This type of scientific knowledge will help to gain a more thorough understanding of young people’s differentiated attitude towards various types of activity, as well as to identify which psychological needs, ideas, beliefs and motives influence their preferences. Studies of socio-economic and socio-political activity of young people, that have been conducted in sociology, social psychology, and political science, testify to their ambiguous correlation. As researchers note, the homo economicus model as a model of a political subject in the modern world requires adjustment [1]. It is obviously related to the fact that the ratio of economic and political behavior of the subjects has a certain peculiarity, as it is strengthening or reducing due to other factors. Studies of socio-economic and socio-political activity of young people are based on the idea of young people’s gradual inclusion into social participation and characterize their substantial aspects and determinants. Thus, I.V. Arendachuk states that senior students show orientation towards professional and other types of economic activity (including various forms of incomes through the Internet, MLM, etc.), while political activity becomes the major component of social activity [2]. Sociological studies show that the perspective of independent economic activity of the Russian student youth is not high [3], however, real, sporadic or constant economic behavior that is typical of the majority of young people [4].


Commitment to social and economic activity among young people is expressed and variable, which means that, along with economically active ones, there are economically passive young people. Commitment to political activity is much lower and more homogeneous. Correlation analysis of variables allowed to establish the lack of connection between general social activity and family status and income, as well as adherence to television sources of information about social life in the country. Results show that young females that continue their education are characterized by higher level of activity. The presence of a large number of correlations indicates significant determination of the general social activity of young people through the indicators of basic needs, adherence to certain information sources (radio, Internet, social networks, friends, parents, newspapers, representatives of parties and organizations) regarding social life in the country, attitudes and riskiness. Satisfaction of the need for autonomy and competence directly determines economic activity of young people and indirectly determines socio-political activity, i.e. through attitudes to possibilities of social activity in the country (personal and in general) and parents’ participation in public life (the need for competence). Adherence to a certain source of information (radio and representatives of organizations) about life in the country determines young people’s political activity directly and acts as a mediator of the impact of the basic need for autonomy on this activity. In general, the power of attitudes in the determination of activity is higher than the strength of basic needs.

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