Vasilyeva E.G. Trends and Prospects of Institutional Charity in Russia

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu7.2016.1.8

Elena Geraldovna Vasilyeva 

Candidate of Philosophical Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology,

Volgograd State University

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Prosp. Universitetsky, 100, 400062 Volgograd, Russian Federation


Abstract. This article represents the historical and contemporary practice of charity, as well as the specifics of the institutionalization of charity in Russian society. The institutionalization of charity includes: differentiation of social assistance; development of new technologies, including fund-raising and volunteer initiatives; effective resource management; transparency of investments; social reporting. This is based on the instrumental approach to charity: a functional estimation of its resources, volunteer initiatives and social consequences. We can say that the social attitude towards charity becomes more rational. How universal tendencies are represented in Russia and how they influence social and cultural traditions? Comparison of charity practices in the city of Tsaritsyn (late 19th – early 20th centuries) and the city of Volgograd (late 20th – early 21st centuries) showed the following: the approach of rational instrumental legitimization of charity is not widely spread. Participation in charity initiatives is based on religious values. The author also identified informal interaction structures affecting the arrangement of philanthropy in local communities. In this case, the charity serves functions of social integration, cultural identity, distinguishing the elite groups. Specifics of Russian charity is also marked by the following: the dominance of state and public charity; significant impact of public sector organizations in the development of modern technologies charity; the impact of the Internet on the charity practices equality; change in public opinion on charity as a result of a new practice in Russia – high-scale and public charity activities with flash mobs elements.

Key words: institutional charity, world rating of charity, socio-historical trends of charity, comparative historical and sociological research of charity, socio-cultural values of charity.

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