These are full instructions provided by the professor for my ‘Society and Culture in Russia’ class. Please follow these guidelines as much as possible. This assignment is very important, please do your best in meeting the needs.
Since the main goal of the course, as I said at the beginning, is to try to develop an understanding of Russian culture and the ways in which Russians think about their country and its place in the world, I have designed the questions in a way that helps you to show how much progress toward this goal you have made during the last 3 months.
Questions are based on the 2 books you have read, plus some new items on public opinion, plus what we did in class and the other items you were asked to cover during the course. The assignment is cumulative, therefore, and requires you to think about all we have done. Use as much of the material in the books as you possible in organising your answers.
The two books are:
Gregory Feifer, Russians: the People Behind the Power
Peter Pomorantsev, Nothing is True and Everything is Possible
The public opinion items you should look at (they are quite short} are:
First take a look at this interesting article by Shlapentokh “The puzzle of Russian…….”
Then look at these……
Here are the actual question to the exam:
1. “ If we look at Russia over the long term we can see some definite patterns of social organization and culture, some definite patterns of Russia’s view of itself and its place in the world. These patterns have lasted right up until the present day.” Discuss this statement,. In what ways might it be correct? In what ways might it be wrong or only partially true?
2. Bearing in mind that public opinion surveys only reflect how people respond at a given moment in time, and that opinions can change quickly, what do recent surveys show about Russians’ concerns and attitudes?
3. “ The problem faced by Russia during the last thousand years is that the society has never been allowed to just develop according to the desires and decisions of its people. Things are arranged from the top down, and leaders and rulers are always trying to manipulate Russian ‘reality’.” Is this a fair statement to make? If not, why not? Give examples of what the writer might be getting at, and what the consequences for Russia’s future might be.
Please try to fully answer these questions in a concise manner with full development of arguments.
This is not a research paper, so it only requires to answer the questions with support from the readings.
P.s. Also, in terms of paper outline, please do not include any unnecessary templates like name, date, class etc. You do not have to include even the question, just the answer to one question per page.