The Main Problems Of Today's Generations As Consequence Of Urban Modernization


The management of urban space in connection with the needs of urban modernization requires taking into account and solving the special problems of modern generations. The General goal is the well-being of citizens of all generations. Various problems, difficulties somehow reduce the level of well-being, affect the social well-being and mood of individuals, groups and society as a whole. The purpose of this article is to analyze the life orientations of modern generations on the basis of their most important social values in the context of existing problems in society and the region (on the example of residents of the Samara region). Studies identify eight components of social well-being: work, financial status, age, family, personal desires and aspirations, social status, state, education. All these components of social well-being were taken into account in the sociological survey. Overall, the survey covered 1,200 respondents aged 14-60 years. In the framework of the Samara region among the most urgent problems are: Getting a promising, well-paid job; Limited financial capacity; Getting any job; Lack of places where you can spend interesting leisure time; Getting higher education. Of course, the authorities and business cannot be limited to solving only these problems (as the most urgent). It is necessary to solve all the problems that people notice. All the problems (not only those that took the leading places in the sociological survey) require attention to themselves and solutions taking into account the peculiarities of age, the special needs of people of different generations.

Keywords: Problems of modern generationsurban modernization


Georg Simmel assessed the city as a large organism, a mass of people with the differentiated interests (Simmel, 2002). Robert Park spoke about the sociocultural heterogeneity of the city in his work "The City. Suggestions for Investigation of Human Behavior in the Urban Environment" (Park, Burgess, McKenzie, & Wirth, 1992). The management of urban space requires account and solution of special problems of modern generations due to urban modernization. However, the well-being for citizens of all generations is the main goal.

Problem Statement

It is necessary to know and clearly understand the problems in the city (as well as in the region and country) for an effective solution of real problems of different-age groups. It is also important to study the specific problems of different population groups. Population groups in cities, especially in the large ones, are highly diverse. Nowadays, increased longevity and the dynamic urban renewal led to increased quantity of problems in age-generational aspect.

Research Questions

Various problems and difficulties reduce the level of well-being, affect social well-being and mood of certain people, groups and society in general. At the same time the real problems stimulate social activity of the relevant national groups, political and public organizations. The social well-being of the population (its state in various indicators and in general) plays an important role in development of social policy at various social and governmental levels. What are the main life problems and difficulties that are the most relevant for residents of the certain cities, regions and the country in general?

Purpose of the Study

Sociological research "Youth of the Samara region in 2018" was conducted in 2018 under the scientific supervision of Doctor Vladimir Zvonovsky. The materials were collected during the sociological survey (June 2018) in the framework of this study. These included the problems that not only young people but people of all ages face in life. The attention was paid also to social values of different age-generational groups.

The purpose of this article is the analysis of modern generation's priorities in life based on their major social values in the conditions of the existing problems in society and the region (on the example of people living in the Samara region).

Research Methods

Different levels of social optimism or pessimism, adaptation or dis-adaptation of people, certain variants of social behavior relate to the degree of people's social well-being. The welfare of the population, as the basis of social stability, is the subject of increased attention of different social forces, the state institutions and researchers (FOM, 2019).

It is identified eight components of social well-being: job, financial situation, age, family, personal desires, social status, state, education (Rogozin, 2007). The financial situation is connected mainly with work for most of Russians (Zvonovsky, 2009). All these components of social well-being were taken into account in the methodological materials of the sociological survey, in the appropriate questions of the questionnaire.

1200 respondents at the age of 14–60 years were interviewed in the survey.


The sociological materials for the entire sample will be considered (subsection 6.1) at first. Then the data for each age-generational group will be analyzed (subsection 6.2).

The main problems of modern generation

What problems do people of today's generations face in life primarily? (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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The main problems (according to respondents) are economic problems: the issues "Getting a promising, well-paid job" (1st place) and "Limited financial capacity" (2nd place) received the votes of more than half of the respondents.

For more than a quarter of respondents, the problem of "Getting any job" (in 3rd-4th places) is relevant.

And for more than a quarter of respondents, the problem of "The lack of places where it is interesting to spend leisure-time" (on the 3rd-4th places) is relevant. Thus, it is clearly demonstrated that "Man does not live by bread alone". The problem of leisure is also important even in difficult social and economic conditions.

The main problem was the problem of "Getting higher education" (5th place). This shows the importance of higher education in the "age of knowledge," and shows that it is necessary to pay great attention to the problem of education throughout society and the State, the city authorities.

Each answer, that got 6th-13th place, received less than 10% of respondents. Nevertheless, all these problems are in their own way relevant to individuals and society, to each generation.

Importance of major issues for different generations

What are the major issues for different generations? (Table 02 ).

Table 2 -
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Young respondents (14-30 years) and middle age ones (31-45 years) consider the issue "Getting promising, well-paid job" the most important (64.7% and 64.0%). Older respondents (46-60 years) gave the 2nd place to the issue "Getting promising, well-paid job" (50.7%). They gave the 1st place to the "Limited financial capacity" (60.1%).

The issue "Limited financial capacity" is on the 2nd place for the half (47.6%) of younger respondents and slightly more than half (57.9%) of middle-aged respondents. Of course, "Limited financial capacity" can be related not only to insufficient income or wages, but also to insufficient social benefits, scholarships. All these problems, which look different for different generations, are relevant for the modern social state (Lebedeva & Orlova, 2018). The other two leading answers lag far behind in the respondent’s votes.

Young and middle age respondents gave the 3rd place to the "The lack of places where it is interesting to spend leisure-time" (27.8% and 31.8%). And in the older age group this answer received only the 4th place (17.5%).

"Getting any job" for the older age group is on the 3rd place (26.5%); and for the young and middle-aged respondents it is on the 4th place (24.9% and 29.2%).

The difference in the share of votes in different age groups is very large in the "Getting higher education" issue which is in the 5th place in all groups (20.2% in the younger group, 14.5% in the middle group and 11.8% in the older group).

As part of the sociological study "Youth of the Samara region 2018" a relatively limited set of options for possible answers was used in the questionnaire survey (13), but in fact many other generational problems deserve attention. For example, the problem of intergenerational breaks and risks in the virtual space is relevant (Lebedeva, 2018).

The problems of deviations and deviant behavior (including in the development of the Internet) are important, especially among young people (Belousov & Yashina, 2014). Having certain problems in modern Russian society is a kind of nostalgic sentiment on the Soviet past, especially among older people (Zvonovsky & Merkulova, 2016). It is connected with problems "Getting perspective, well-paid job", "Limited financial capacity", "Increasing number drug-dependent persons among friends, acquaintances", "Crime, violence" which during the Soviet period either were absent or had no essential value.

All problems (not only that on leading places) require attention and solution considering the age, special needs of people of different generations.


There are many old and new problems in urban modernization. Each of the city's problems is important in its own way. Each city has its own particular needs in dealing with specific tasks. However, sociological studies within regions show the common background and common problems that concern modern generations of young and adult people.

The most pressing problems in the Samara region are:

  • Getting promising, well-paid job (especially for young people and middle-generation people);

  • Limited financial capacity;

  • Getting any job (especially for older people);

  • The lack of places where it is interesting to spend leisure-time;

  • Getting higher education (especially for young people).

Of course, authorities and business cannot solve only these problems (as the most urgent).

We need to solve all the problems that people notice. At the same time, it is important to consider not only the opinion of urban residents. But it is important to take into account the views of villagers, as urban problems, to some extent, also affect them. However, the State and society, the city authorities and the residents should pay attention to solving the problems of labor and employment, social security, leisure and education of the population.


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09 March 2020

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Cite this article as:

Lebedeva*, L. G., & Zvonovsky, V. B. (2020). The Main Problems Of Today's Generations As Consequence Of Urban Modernization. In S. I. Ashmarina, & V. V. Mantulenko (Eds.), Global Challenges and Prospects of the Modern Economic Development, vol 79. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 9-14). European Publisher.