Svetlana Erpyleva

Svetlana Erpyleva
Key terms
  • Biographical research
  • Civic and political activism
  • Growing up of adolescents
  • Political involvement and participation
  • Political socialization
  • Post-Soviet society
  • Public and private
  • Social movement studies
  • Sociology of childhood
  • War studies

Svetlana Erpyleva is a sociologist, a researcher with the Public Sociology Laboratory and a PhD-candidate of the University of Helsinki. She started her education in the Sociological Dept. of Moscow State University, but was dismissed due to her participation in the protest campaign against the dean as a member of OD-Group. She acquired a BA in sociology from the Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg and an MA in sociology from EUSP. Since 2011 she has been part of a number of PS Lab research projects on civil society, protest movements, and war in the post-communist world. Her primary field of research is a research with children and the study of political socialization and biographical analysis. She is an author of articles on political socialization and public participation published in peer-reviewed journals, and a co-author of the collective monograph «Politics of Apoliticals» (2015, in Russian).


Svetlana is interested in a number of issues related to social movement studies, civic and political participation, political socialization, the socialization of adolescents, political reasoning and participation of children, and research with children in general. Her MA research was about how adolescents learn politics and how society treats adolescents in politics. Since then she has been interested in broader problems at the border of social movement research, sociology of childhood and pedagogy: adult-child relationships, growing-up during adolescence, the possibility of children’s public participation. While starting to work on her PhD devoted to the socialization of civic activists in Russia, she became interested in issues of political socialization, career research, and biographical analysis. As part of the Public Sociology Laboratory, she studied Maidan and Antimaidan mobilizations in Ukraine and the war in Donbass. She was also involved in collective research on new local activism as it emerged in Russia after mass nationwide protest movement in 2011. Within the framework of this project she was interested in the problem of the interconnection of “civic” and “political” in activism, pragmatic sociology applied to Russian reality, and theories of events.

Currently, she is involved in multidisciplinary research project “Citizenship Under Conflict: Reimagining Political Belonging” at SAS, where she is responsible for analyzing “active citizenship” practiced by children and adolescents in the course of their socialization. Her research experience in socialization has also resulted in an original university course, “Theories of Socialization: How We Become Those Who We Are,” which she teaches at the School of Advanced Studies.