Perceptions of «heroes of the time» in the minds of Russian youth: basic hypotheses and features of the social situation in modern Russia

Belov S.I., Vanteevsky M.M., Yarosheva D.V.


The present study was carried out with the aim of forming basic hypotheses regarding the ideas about the «heroes of the time» in the minds of Russian youth in the context of the current social situation. The research methodology is built through a combination of elements of comparative, systemic, and structural analysis. Based on the arguments put forward, there is currently no monolithic complex of «heroes of the time» in the minds of Russian youth. Their perception is determined by a high degree of segmentation of society and significant specificity in the culture of media consumption, quality of life, value orientations, and social experience of young people and their environment. As a result, many clusters of heroes have formed in the minds of young people, which may partially overlap or not completely coincide. The key element of these images is the presence of qualitative differences from the images of heroes inherent in previous generations. The images of youth heroes do not in most cases imply the achievement of some super-goals through the application of serious efforts or sacrifices. Also, despite the fact that young people often do not distinguish between the concepts of «a hero», «a symbol», and «a leader», but perceive them as synonyms, one of the key parameters for determining such an image is the success factor, which can be expressed in the character’s popularity in the media field, financial independence, etc. Heroes of the younger generation are able to lead a comfortable lifestyle, being outside the field of stress factors, which include ideas of duty imposed by society. Thus, the mass culture of modern society leaves its mark on the perception and formation of images, however, the processes of digitalization negate the heroes’ lack of high moral and big goals, the desire to fight for their ideals, and, thanks to the competent building of the image through political myths and archetypes, the heroes become understandable to the younger generation.


youth; image of a hero; hero of time; hypothesis; social situation.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2023.01.01

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