The Meanings of All-Russian Civic Identity in Russian Mass Consciousness




All-Russian civic identity, integrating representations, identifiers of all-Russian identity, national and civic identity


Based on the data of a tracking study initiated by the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs and conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center with a Russian nationwide sample of 2,000 respondents, the paper analyzes the importance of collective representations of a common state, territory, historical past, culture and civic values. The study shows that the Russian identity was not only formed by the state but also by the efforts of society itself. Today the type of national identity related to country-specific and territorial representations is the most common, whereas the historical cultural and civic type is less widespread.

The identifying patterns are dynamic and consistent with people’s representations. The paper puts an emphasis on  multiple identities and a combination of Russian and ethnic identities and shows that the variability in the Russian identity content is manifested to a greater extent in the assessment of how important the  identification based on a common state is and to a lesser extent in the historical past. The content of the Russian identity is similar among the inhabitants of urban and rural areas; only large cities stand out as their inhabitants pay more attention to historical and cultural components. The share of those who have a sense of connection to the Russian citizens has increased from 84% in 2016 to 91% in 2019. Of persons with strong (relevant) identity, there is a slightly bigger share of young and well-educated persons who are oriented towards interethnic accord and trust; however, at most one-third of Russians feel responsibility for the country's future. One of the tasks of the state and society is to form a civic consciousness, responsibility for an upward trend in the Russian nationwide identity.

Author Biography

Leokadiya M. Drobizheva, Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Higher School of Economics

  • Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
    • Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Head of Center for the Study of Interethnic Relations
  • National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia
    • Professor at the School of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences