Background. Thestudy explores the potential predictors of the collective action in the context of contemporary social and civil movements. Classical socio-psychological models of social movements focus on the concept of social identity, i.e. collective identity and have difficulty explaining a sudden upsurge of popular demonstrations in the world (from mass demonstrations in Russia till “Yellow vests” movement in France).
Objective. The research aims to identify a latent criterion of the identification with the protest movement which can be situated within the social space only at the moment of people assemblies.
Design. According to the literature review, the authors suggest that the collective experience of precariousness, representing the people’s vulnerability in existing social and political order can be a latent identification criterion of social and civil movements. In the research, we subjected the data of semi-structured interviews with the activists of Russian civil movements to the Jonathan A. Smith's method of interpretative phenomenological analysis.
Findings. As a result of the qualitative analysis of the interviews, the main features that manifest the collective experience of precariousness were identified. The collective experience is performed through the views of the civil movements activists in Russia in the 2010s: 1) Participation in demonstrations s identified with the particular state; 2) Experience of injustice as stepping out the comfort zone; 3) Intention to change social order; 4) Handling the fear of punishment; 5) Deception and lost illusions.
Conclusion. Precarity becomes a predictor of collective action only in the case if it becomes a collective experience of a community, a formal assigning to the precariat class is not enough for collective mobilization. The understanding of how the collective experience of precariousness is identified with new social movements uncovers perspectives for further research.
This paper is dedicated to scientific and literary heritage of Galina M. Andreeva. The methodology of social cognition, for more than half a century developed by Galina M. Andreeva as a tool of social analysis, is discussed. The problem of social cognition, first indicated by V. Turner, Z. Bauman and M. Mamardashvili, is analysed in terms of mentalization, interpersonal interaction and mass consciousness. Based on G. Andreeva’s theoretical research, the correlation between micro-processes of individual cognition construction and macro-processes of society in communication, dialogue and discourse is proved.
The issue of finding the correct definition of a group, mass or public consciousness epistemological status is taken as a result of an old trend toward anthropomorphizing the collective cognition subject. This impedes the correlation between personality and society in psychology, meaning “agency” and “structure” in sociology. G.Andreeva discusses the last one, connecting cognitive psychology, social constructionism and activity theory.
Theoretical assumptions of social cognition as the process of world image construction are formulated as follows: 1) presumption of general knowledge; 2) active constructive nature; 3) categorization and classification as the basic process; 4) the relationship between discourse and cognition; 5) emotionality; 6) critical orientation; 7) prospective for the clinical analysis of sociocultural realities.
With respect to the abovementioned facts, it can be said that the ideas of scientific school founded by Galina М. Andreeva allow to innovatively define social psychology as a modern social and cultural epistemology.
In this paper we develop the criteria for evaluating scientific and academic publications and such qualification works, as diplomas, master theses and Ph. D. theses carried out using qualitative methods. The criteria are the result of a research seminar on qualitative methods held by A.N. Krichevets and O.T. Melnikova at the Department of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia. The detailed steps are described and corresponding standards of planning research, preparing the target and theoretical sample, collecting and analyzing quality data, interpreting and presenting results are shown. Particular attention is given to such criteria as transparency of result interpretation, result analysis documentation, validity, availability of author’s reflexive position in the text and availability of respondents’ judgements and opinions. In addition, we show the necessity of choosing methods for analyzing the results (e.g. thematic analysis, grounded theory method, hermeneutic or descriptive phenomenology, narrative and discourse analysis), how they conform to the goals and objectives of the research, and also the adequacy of studying a particular subject area.
We discuss the key validation strategies included into the research process (validation by respondents, analysis of deviant cases, triangulation, etc.), ethical principles and sampling, communicating with respondents, working with their personal data. Developing “quality standards” is an important factor in establishing a qualitative research in the Russian national science of psychology.
The most discussed validity criteria of qualitative research, namely realistic, constructionist, critical, aesthetical and radical ones are analysed in this paper. Modern research does not only introduce specific concepts of validity, but it also strives to conceptually replace this criterion by another.
In the realistic system the validity is discussed from the point of view of the interpretative argumentation. The constructionist criteria assume refusal of classical validity criteria, new criteria, i.e. “trustworthiness” and “authenticity”, are introduced. The critical criteria emphasize social value and usefulness, a critical component of the research, its inclusiveness in the context of social and cultural changes.
Aesthetical criteria equate quality of the analysis and the expressiveness, polyphony of the collected data, the representation of the various subjective positions in the study. The radical system, following the logics of radical constructionism and methodological anarchism, refuses a definite standard of quality research. Summing up, we conclude that the so-called “subjective” view of the researcher is not an artifact of the analysis, but its key epistemological tool. The issue of validity is the problem of critical reflexivity of the researchers and positions of their respondents. In conclusion, we suggest the original validity criteria of qualitative research in psychology based on the theoretical analysis of various criteria and practical experience.
The general principle of these original criteria is a relation of criteria and various levels (or stages) of qualitative research: research design, data collection and analysis, and data interpretation.
The basic domains of qualitative social psychological research, namely social representations, social identity, attitudes, values and ideology, collective memory, the psychology of the environment are considered. Based on the fact that the range of problems of modern social psychology is largely determined by the so-called “social cognition paradigm” the author puts forward an idea about the psychology of social cognition, i.e. everyday consciousness, its functions, values, specific features of studying. The relation between theory and method in psychological research in the context of cognitive, linguistic and historical “turn” in the history of social psychology is discussed. The definition of qualitative research in the paradigm of social cognition is given.The theory of social representations by S. Moscovici is analysed. The cases of qualitative research carried out in the paradigm of this theory, as well as studies of social identity, attitudes, values and ideology, are reviewed. A theory of discourse is outlined and the author’s own method of discourse analysis is worked out. The author also dwells on the subject of innovation in social psychology. New directions of qualitative research development related to spatial and temporal aspects of social cognition are set, that is the way of “vital” environment and the collective (social) memory.
To sum up, the conducted theoretical and methodological analysis of the subject areas of qualitative research in psychology allows us to consider the relationship of subject and method. Thus, the definition of the subject of qualitative research is the starting point of the discussion of methodological problems.