10th December saw the completion of the first stage of the project "Mutual perception of the Polish and the Russians through new media stereotypes". As part of this project, the students of the Faculty of History and the Faculty of International Relations of Voronezh State University had an opportunity to spend seven days learning about Polish culture in the city of Krakow. The event was organized by the Eastern Initiative Institute, Voronezh regional youth social organization "Politics and Time", Erasmus+, and the student research society of the Jagellonian University's Institute of Russia and Eastern Europe (Krakow, Poland).
The project was aimed at studying the stereotypes about Russia that are most widespread in Poland. VSU students, in collaboration with the Polish students, took part in seminars dedicated to the origin and evolution of stereotypes, and also conducted a survey among the young people of Krakow. It turned out that most of the Polish mass media use traditional negative stereotypes about Russia and the Russians, which, however, did not prevent the students from both countries from completing the joint project and making friends.
The results of the project caught the attention of P. Sztompka – a professor of the Jagellonian University. A meeting with the ex-president of International Sociological Association took place in the centre for cultural transformation research. Prof. Sztompka shared memories of his student years and his beloved teacher R.K. Merton, in addition to instructing the younger generation on how to achieve their goals.
The next stage of the project is to take place in Voronezh, where the Department of Sociology and Politology of the Faculty of History, in collaboration with the students of the Jagellonian University's Institute of Russia, are going to conduct research of the dominant stereotypes about Poland in Russian society.