S. V. Polutin, Е. А. Samoilova. A Sociological Portrait of the Animal Welfare Movement in Russia

UDК 316.35:351.765

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.110.028.202001.184-199

Introduction. Promotion of volunteerism plays an important role in the formation of civil society in Russia. The animal welfare movement is one of the areas of such socially significant activities. Studies in this field are of relevance and practical significance, since the development of the animal welfare movement is a kind of social marker of the moral state of society. The study is aimed at identifying the organizational forms of the animal welfare movement in Russia as well as the motivation for people to participate in this activity, and at drawing up a sociological portrait of the Russian animal welfare activist.

Materials and Methods. The article presents the results of two sociological studies: a survey of animal welfare activists (2017) done using the method of informal guided (semi-structured) interviews and an online survey of members of animal welfare groups on social networks (2019) conducted using ‘snowball sampling’ technique.

Results. A portrait of a typical representative of the animal welfare movement in Russia has been done. The main achievements and problems of the animal welfare movement in Russia have been identified. The social composition of the animal welfare movement has been revealed as well as the activists’ motivation for participation in volunteering. An assessment of the level of development of the animal welfare in Russia as a whole and in the home regions of the animal welfare activists has been presented.

Discussion and Conclusion. The animal welfare movement is represented at the regional and federal levels, the degree of its development being a certain marker of the state of public morality and the level of maturity of civil society. However, the effectiveness of animal welfare activities is constrained by a number of factors: legal, organizational, financial, and informational ones. Overcoming these barriers depends on a sustainable dialogue between the authorities and civil society, especially at the regional level. The practical significance of the study lies in the possibility of using its results by the authorities and volunteer movements for the implementation of civil initiatives and their legislative support at the federal and regional levels.

Keywords: social movement, animal rights activist, animal rights movement, animal welfare society, animal welfare activists, factors in promotion and barriers to the development of the animal welfare movement


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Submitted 24.10.2019; accepted for publication 18.12.2019; published online 31.03.2020.

About the authors:

Sergey V. Polutin, Director of Research Institute of Regionology, Head of Department, Department of Sociology, National Research Mordovia State University (68/1 Bolshevistskaya St., Saransk 430005, Russia), Dr. Sci. (Sociology), Full Professor, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0399-4154, polutin.sergei@yandex.ru

Elena A. Samoilova, Postgraduate, Department of Sociology, National Research Mordovia State University (68/1 Bolshevistskaya St., Saransk 430005, Russia), ORCID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5393-6027, elenasamoilovakar@yandex.ru

Contribution of the authors:

Sergey V. Polutin ‒ statement of the research problem and identification of the main ways to solve it; data structuring and analysis.

Elena A. Samoilova ‒ collection of materials and initiation of the study; choice of research methodology; preparation of the initial version of the text with subsequent revision.

For citation:

Polutin S.V., Samoilova E.А. A Sociological Portrait of the Animal Welfare Movement in Russia. Regionology = Russian Journal of Regional Studies. 2020; 28(1):184-199. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.110.028.202001.184-199

The authors have read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
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