I. A. Yurasov, V. V. Bondarenko, S. V. Polutin, O. A. Zyablikova, O. N. Yurasova. Paradoxical Manifestations of Institutional Social Trust in Russian Regions: Corruption and Shadow Employment as Types of Social Trust

UDК 316.334.3:328.185

doi: 10.15507/2413-1407.125.031.202304.733-753


Introduction. The paradoxicality of which lies in the fact that with a lack of official institutional trust of the population in the authorities, it flows into informal, criminal and semi-criminal social spheres, into corrupt social ties and groups, and into the informal economy, shadow employment. The purpose of the article is to conduct a sociological theoretical and methodological analysis of the paradoxical forms of institutional social trust in Russian society in the form of corrupt and shadow economic ties.

Materials and Methods. Empirical data on the shadow labor market in the Russian Federation were obtained in the course of mass and expert surveys conducted in 2021 in 10 regions of the Russian Federation and 2 megacities. In the course of preparing this publication, general scientific, logical methods were used, structural-functional, sociocultural, anthroposociocultural, projective approaches in modern sociology, the method of sociological imagination, the methodology of analysis and the formation of “we-groups”.

Results. In the course of the authors’ research, it was found that such negative social phenomena as domestic and business corruption, shadow (informal) employment are a paradoxical form of expression of institutional trust in society. The paradox of the sociological correlation of corruption and shadow employment with institutional trust only at first glance seems illogical and contrary to sound scientific understanding. As a result of the analysis, the authors have revealed that with a lack of basic institutional trust of the Russian population in state and municipal authorities, social trust flows into informal, semi-criminal and criminal spheres. It has been proved that corruption and informal employment as forms of social practice become forms of expression of specific political trust based on strong social ties (blood related, kindred, friendly) in Russian regions. The authors’ team determined that corruption and informal employment are becoming a type of informal social self-organization of society, which close the gap between the political communications of the elite and the expectations of civil society.

Discussion and Conclusion. Corruption and the informal economy are becoming a paradoxical form of manifestation of situational, horizontal, institutional trust based on strong (blood related, kindred, friendly) ties, on the social ties of “we-groups”, on the atomism of the Russian regional society. This research can be practically used by sociologists, lawyers, criminologists, social psychologists, law enforcement officers of the Russian Federation.

Keywords: social trust, social paradox, corruption, informal employment, horizontal and vertical ties, strong and weak social ties, “we-groups”

Conflict of interests. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests.

Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to the reviewers and editors of the Russian Journal of Regional Studies for valuable recommendations, comments and advice that helped improve the quality of the text.

Funding. The study was carried out at the expense of the state task (VTK-GZ-PI-48-23) “Development of methodological recommendations for increasing institutional trust in the authorities of student youth in the network information space in the context of global cultural and digital transformations”.

For citation: Yurasov I.A., Bondarenko V.V., Polutin S.V., Zyablikova O.A., Yurasova O.N. Paradoxical Manifestations of Institutional Social Trust in Russian Regions: Corruption and Shadow Employment as Types of Social Trust. Russian Journal of Regional Studies. 2023;31(4):733–753. https://doi.org/10.15507/2413-1407.125.031.202304.733-753


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Submitted 27.03.2023; revised 16.08.2023; accepted 25.08.2023.

About the authors:

Igor A. Yurasov, Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Director of the Center for Monitoring Social Processes of the Institute for Regional Development of the Penza Region (40 Popova St., Penza 440046, Russian Federation); Professor of the Department of Management, Informatics and General Humanities, Penza Branch of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (33b Kalinina St., Penza 440052, Russian Federation); Professor of the Department of Public Administration and Sociology of the Region, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya St., Penza 440026, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4884-6422, jurassow@yandex.ru

Vladimir V. Bondarenko, Dr. Sci. (Econ.), Professor of the Department of Management, Informatics and General Humanities, Penza Branch of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (33b Kalinina St., Penza 440052, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6716-1963, Scopus ID: 57211802151, bond40@bk.ru

Sergey V. Polutin, Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Professor, Director of the Research Institute of Regional Studies, Head of the Department of Sociology and Social Work, National Research Mordovia State University (68/1 Bolshevistskaya St., Saransk 430005, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0399-4154, Scopus ID: 57215972235, Researcher ID: A-9592-2017, polutin.sergei@yandex.ru

Olga A. Zyablikova, Can. Sci. (Econ.), Associate Professor of the Department of Management, Informatics and General Humanities, Penza Branch of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation (33b Kalinina St., Penza 440052, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1624-0071, has18068881@rambler.ru

Olga N. Yurasova, Senior Lecturer of the Department of English, Penza State University (40 Krasnaya St., Penza 440026, Russian Federation), ORCID: https://orcid.org/0009-0006-2186-7051, ol.iurasova@yandex.ru

Contribution of the authors:

I. A. Yurasov ‒ development of the problem and the general methodology of the study; interpretation of empirical material; theoretical conclusions.

V. V. Bondarenko ‒ organization and conduct of empirical research in Penza, Murmansk, Moscow, Kaluga, Kursk; primary analysis of empirical information; critical analysis and revision of the text.

S. V. Polutin – literature review on the problem of institutional social trust; critical analysis and revision of the text.

O. A. Zyablikova ‒ development of a questionnaire and an interview guide; quantitative analysis of the survey results.

O. N. Yurasova ‒ literary review on general problems of social trust; organization and conduct of empirical research in Penza.

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

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