Ideology, methodology, and context: social science surveys in the Russian federation

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The use of survey research has expanded dramatically in the Russian Federation, with mixed results in terms of accuracy and methodological practice. This article offers a preliminary summary of developments in survey research in the Russian Federation, highlighting the methodological and cultural difficulties associated with the transmission of Western-style survey research to the social reality of the Russian Federation. Ideological pressure, intellectual isolation, and emphasis on making surveys politically palatable led to a unique situation for the development of survey methodologies within the former Soviet Union. Insights from interviews with 20 Russian and American scholars highlight problems in cross-cultural collaboration in the post-Soviet context in terms of communication, ownership, training, and sampling. International collaboration has not yet reached its potential in terms of assisting the further development of existing sampling practices, data access norms, and interviewer preparation in the Russian Federation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-236
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Social Sciences


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