Attitudes to Putin-Era Patriotism Amongst Russia’s ‘In Between’ Generation, Seminar with Dr. Jussi Lassila, Finnish Institute of International Affairs
When? November 29th, 15:15.17:00
Where? On Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/65931690478
Putin-era patriotism has become mandatory across different social groups and communities in terms of their relationship to the state. In particular, there has been a growing polarization between the construction of patriotic policies and attitudes towards these policies by their targets. As a rule, actors representing Soviet-era generations are increasingly producing patriotism derived from Soviet ideals for generations who lack personal experience of the Soviet Union as well as the 1990s that followed its collapse. At the same time, loyalty building to the authoritarian state, aimed at by patriotic education, is working rather poorly among the youngest Russians.
But what is known about Russians between these poles, between educators and those being educated? What is their attitude towards patriotism and the patriotic education of the Putin era? Russians born in the early 1980s form an important intermediate cohort between the older Soviet-era and younger ‘internet’ generations who came of age within different frameworks of patriotic socialisation. They started school in the last years of the USSR, finished their main schooling before the Putin-era patriotic education programmes began but whose own children are now undergoing them.
In this respect, this cohort has a personal connection to all three dimensions of the Putin-era patriotic policies: 1) the patriotic education of the Soviet era, 2) the “unpatriotic” 1990s, and 3) the patriotic education of the Putin era by living in the most socio-economically active phase under Putin and being parents to children who are central targets of patriotic education. Attitudes of this cohort provide us preliminary information about prerequisites for internalizing Putin-era patriotism by active adults of the 2010s and early 2020s. For this cohort the effect of the Soviet-era patriotism could be seen in their recognition of the virtues of official patriotism, but this identification was by no means political. This implies that the political banality of patriotism in general, something that anyone can share, underlines the overall limits of using patriotism for political purposes.
The presentation is based on a case study published this year (ʻAttitudes to Putin-Era Patriotism Amongst Russia’s ‘In Between’ Generationʼ, Jussi Lassila & Anna Sanina, Europe-Asia Studies, https://doi.org/10.1080/09668136.2022.2088702), which also provides a background for the current situation influenced by Putinʼs invasion of Ukraine.