Background. In 2016 Russia will celebrate 25th anniversary of its new history, associated with the release from the USSR and disintegration of the latter. Despite a quarter-century retrospective of this process, the society quite often debates about the time frame of completion of this transformation, the reflection of its essential existence in the real practices of the Russian society, as well as the reasons for diffi-culties of the modernization of the Russian state development at the modern stage. In our opinion, the study of the above-mentioned aspects is impossible without a deep analysis of the evolution of “Soviet mentality” in the context of dependence of the success of economic transformation on the social perception of the ownership reform (privatization) of 1990s and the related behavioral reactions of the population. The aim of this work is the study of the level of perception by the Russian society of the contents and installations of the radical socio-economic transformation of the early 1990s in the field of property relations transformation.
Materials and methods. The research objectives were implemented on the basis of the socially-representative studies, the results of field surveys, reflected in the pe-riodical press of both central and local origins. Individual unit sources is a complex of archival document collections of the State Archive of the Russian Federation, the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History and the State Archive of Penza Re-gion. The methodology of the work included basic principles of scientific knowledge – historicism and objectivity, and special historical methods of research: historical and systematic, statistical, problem-chronological. For the purpose of obtai¬ning more efficient results of the complex analysis of the social reflection of the privatization process, the disclosure of its internal relations was based on the inter-disciplinary categorical and methodological apparatus, the need for which is sub-stantiated not only by the subject of the work, but also by signs of problematization of historical knowledge.
Results. The article traces the evolutionary nature of social practices of Soviet people in terms of the socio-cultural transformation, changing the institutional envi-ronment and objective impact of market incentives for modernization of the civil society in new Russia. A concrete historical analysis of transitivity and continuity of the Russian society in the work is based not only on the nation-wide research and measurement of public opinion, but also on local-level researches – Penza region, which by all parameters is a consistently-typical region with average value arche-types.
Conclusions. The restructuring of the mass consciousness of the Soviet society under the influence of market institutions introduced with a framework of radical reforms of 1990s, without a doubt, polarized social foundations of the socialist system in the direction of property-proprietary sentiment. However, the pace of adjustment of mentality was very slow, which hindered the development of mechanisms of self-regulation of the market and the natural formation of civil society of new Russia, expected by the reformers. Reasonable expectations of transition to a market economy was replaced by disappointment, loss of confidence in the government and the party (CPSU) by the population. In addition, the population began to resort to conservative tactics of internal resistance and “silence” that was a direct consequence of the previously predominant tendencies of social parasitism and state party paternalism. As a result, the analysis of the causes of these trends allows to conclude that the transformation of ownership relations in Russia confirmed high resistance of the Soviet mentality to perception of market institutions.
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