Legal Consciousness in Post-Soviet Russia: A Preliminary Study

Kathryn Hendley, University of Wisconsin, Madison


How do Russians solve problems in their daily lives and what does their behavior reveal about their legal consciousness? I pursue these questions by examining how Russians interact with those who are physically closest to them, namely those who live in the same building and who share the same entryway (pod''ezd). Reasoning that the essence of relationships emerges through conflict, I focus on the problem-solving strategies employed when one neighbor leaks water into another neighbor's apartment. By listening to Russians in focus groups and follow-up interviews, three basic strategies emerged: avoidance, self-help, and third-party intervention.

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