Russian literary classics in the reading preferences of contempary Russian students


2019, Vol. 3. №4 (10)

Russian literary classics in the reading preferences of contempary Russian students

For citation: Kargapolova E. V., Davydova U. A., Osina E. M. 2019. “Russian literary classics in the reading preferences of contemporary Russian students”. Siberian Socium, vol. 3, no 4 (10), pp. 74-86. DOI: 10.21684/2587-8484-2019-3-4-74-86

About the authors:

Ekaterina V. Kargapolova, Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Professor, Academic Department of Political Science and Sociology, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Moscow, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0002-2892-3953; Web of Science ReseacherID: O-6734-2017;

Uliia A. Davydova, Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Associate Professor, Academic Department of Political Science and Sociology, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Moscow, Russian Federation); ORCID: 0000-0001-5660-328X;

Ekaterina M. Osina, Undergraduate Student, Plekhanov Russian University of Economics (Moscow, Russian Federation);


The problem of studying the structure of reading preferences of the population is interdisciplinary, as it belongs to the fields of literary studies, teaching, and social studies. There is a need for the research matching the current situation, which a number of authors quite rightfully name the “reading crisis”. At the same time, specific empirical studies of the recent years in Russia show an increase in reader interest (especially among young people). This actualizes the need to diagnose the structure of reader preferences in the vanguard of young people, the future scientific, technical, and managerial elite — the university students. In the world, one may see a reception of the national classical literary heritage as a reaction to globalist projects in the form of Americanization (or rather, McDonaldization). This study aims to analyze the place of Russian literary classics in the structure of reading preferences among the university students based on the results of a specific sociological questionnaire of the student audience in Astrakhan, Volgograd, and Moscow, implemented under the guidance and direct participation of the authors in 2016 and in 2019. As an indicator of familiarity of respondents with the works of Russian and Soviet writers of the 19th and 20th centuries, the authors counted the reading of a full text. The level of familiarity with the texts of the Golden Age of the Russian culture has increased, same goes for the readers’ interest in Soviet authors. Students pay more attention to the works of N. V. Gogol and M. A. Bulgakov nowadays. There is also a growing audience of authors, who write about the Great Patriotic War. The authors of this article associate this phenomenon with the activation of the historical memory of Russians. At the same time, the results show that students prefer the Soviet period of literary classics to a much lesser extent than the works of the Golden Age. The tendency to increase the importance of Russian literary classics in the structure of reader preferences of contemporary students can be associated with the processes of revival of interest in Russian culture, with the strengthening of civil position, and ultimately — the national identity. The prospects for further research are considered by the authors based on qualitative methods involving the theoretical and methodological potential of social and literary studies, which can show the possible transformation of the understanding of the meaning of works of Russian literary classics by modern students.


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