Russian Ethnocentrism and the West: Cultural and Historical Dynamics of Perception of the West in Russia.
Thesis DisciplineEuropean Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Opposition to the West is one of the stable characteristics of the Russian history. It is not only enshrined in the mentality of Russian people, but has become an integral part of the social and political culture of the country. The crisis facing Russia at the present time, the active modernisation and inclusion in the globalisation not only further exacerbate this confrontation, but also actualise the perennial alternative facing Russia: to converge with the West, or enter a new confrontation with it. This study explores the influence of the ethnocentric dimension on the cultural and historical dynamics of the paradigm 'Russia vs the West'. The new concept of content, structure, forms and levels of the ethnocentrism phenomenon developed by the author is tested on the basis of integrated analysis of cultural and historical evolution of Russia, the exploration of interaction between the processes of modernisation and the peculiarities of the perception of its 'modernisation standard' – the West. The data employed by the author comes from sociological studies conducted in the last 20 years and enables not only to identify the major determinants and factors influencing the current strategy of relations between Russia and the West, but also to predict the possible scenario of the development of processes of post-Soviet modernisation of this country and its interaction with the outside world.