This book examines the phenomenon of intelligentsia as political discourse, civic action, and embodied practice, focusing especially on the political agendas and personal choices confronting intellectuals in modern Russia.
Contributors explore the role of the Russian intelligentsia in dismantling the Soviet system and the unanticipated consequences of the resultant changes which threaten the very existence of the intelligentsia as a distinct group. Building on the legacy of John Dewey and Jürgen Habermas, the authors make the case that the intelligentsia plays a critical role in opening communications, widening the range of participants in public discourse, and freeing social intercourse from the constraints nondemocratic political arrangements impose on the communication sphere.
Looking at current trends through a variety of different lenses, this book will be of interest to those studying the past, present, and future of the Russian intelligentsia and its impact not only in Russia, but around the world. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Russian Journal of Communication.
Table of Contents
Communication, democracy, and intelligentsia: an introduction 1. ‘Intelligentsia’: the vanished concept and its aftermath 2. Intelligentsia, intellectuals, and the social functions of intelligence 3. Subjective notes on the objective situation among Russian intellectuals 4. The post-intelligentsia and the Russian catastrophe of the twenty-first century 5. Russian intelligentsia in the age of counterperestroika 6. Intelligentsia exhumed: nationalist trends among contemporary Russian intelligentsia 7. Intelligentsia and cynicism: political metamorphoses of postmodernism 8. Literature and power in the new age: institutions and divisions 9. Reading as a heroic feat: the intelligentsia and uncensored literature 10. The intelligentsia and emigration: strategic prospects, unrealized possibilities, and personal risks 11. The illusion of freedom: propaganda and the informational swamp 12. Intelligentsia and the Gospel according to Mathew
Dmitri N. Shalin is Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Democratic Culture, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA. He is the coordinator of the Justice & Democracy Forum series; editor of The Social Health of Nevada report; and co-director of the International Biography Initiative, the Erving Goffman Archives, and the Russian Culture and Intelligentsia projects. His research interests and publications are in the areas of pragmatism, sociological theory, democratic culture, and Russian society.