The sociological, group-based factors of public opinion formation are often omitted from models of public opinion that rely on survey methodology. This study employs social identity theory and focus group interview technique to demonstrate the value-added from an alternative approach to the issue of opinion formation in authoritarian regimes. The empirical focus is on public opinion in post-Crimea Russia. The focus group interviews conducted in 2016 in two Russian cities reveal the effects of national identity salience and the implications of “depersonalized” political opinion formation in post-Crimea Russia. The study speaks to the increasing repertoire of legitimation mechanisms that modern, “informational” autocrats can rely on in the context of controlled media and public sphere.
Sharafutdinova, G. (2020). Public Opinion Formation and Group Identity: The Politics of National Identity Salience in Post-Crimea Russia. Problems of Post-Communism. https://doi.org/10.1080/10758216.2020.1829975