KnE Life Sciences | The Fifth International Luria Memorial Congress «Lurian Approach in International Psychological Science» | pages: 672–679

1. Introduction

The behavior of citizens is determined by personal, environmental, socio-economic factors. One of the variants of destructive behavior is vandalism, causing visible harm to the environment and, at one and the same time, invisible harm to the personality of citizens. Vandalism destroys the culture, social environment of the city, reduces the competitiveness of the territory, affecting the citizens-spectators and the actors themselves [1, 2, 3, 4 ]. The mass nature of manifestations of vandalism testifies to the growth of social tension, the imperfection of the infrastructure of the territory.

2. Methodology

Empirical data was gathered on the streets in Ekaterinburg at spring and summer 2017, as well as through questioning, processed by statistical packages and analyzed in a cross-disciplinary manner within psychology, sociology, economic and social development of the territory. A survey was conducted of the territory of the megapolis of Yekaterinburg (in seven administrative boundaries of the city district) for the presence of vandal manifestations. Obtained more than 3 thousand samples of vandalism were investigated by the method of focus groups, psychosemantics. Described emotions when viewing photos of the vandalism results, the desire to live, to work in such an environment is estimated. Data on the type and location of manifestations are correlated with the type of development and quality of life in the microdistrict area.

3. Results

We found that the largest number of vandal manifestations is observed in the districts of Uralmash, Elmash (Ordzhonikidzevsky administrative district), Himmash, Vtorchermet, Elizavet (Chkalovsky district), Staraya Sortirovka (Railway district). Manifestations of vandalism in the streets of the metropolis are more often manifested in remote areas, especially densely populated, with old buildings. Manifestations in the form of unauthorized painting of buildings, advertising messages.

These areas are originally industrial outskirts, with a large concentration of industrial facilities, here housing is represented by temporary housing 30-40 years and a large number of former hostels (now in the real estate market positioned as small economy homes), infrastructure is not developed, and rare service facilities do not survive. In turn, in areas near the center, with modern buildings, business centers of glass and concrete, the presence of video surveillance and security, acts of vandalism are much less. The density of settlement also affects the intensity and attempts to discharge it in an accessible way. So the resettlement in the metropolis is not even.

So, in Ordzhonikidzevsky area the largest number of inhabitants (21%) live, and the region has rather heavy characteristics [5]. The region is geographically divided into micro-districts of Uralmash (about 200 thousand inhabitants) and Elmash (about 190 thousand people), which also received the name due to industrial enterprises. According to their ergonomic characteristics, two parts of Ordzhonikidzevsky district (Uralmash and Elmash) are similar: roads are rarely repaired, courtyards are difficult, many sports complexes, new buildings are adjacent to two- and three-storey wooden barracks. There are playgrounds, although not in the best condition, there are various sections. This is why young parents often settle in the neighborhood. In the 1990s, these areas became the territories with the largest number of crimes. All this leads to deprivation of the inhabitants (Ellard K., 2016).

Despite the difficult situation, the population in the district only arrives, developers purchase inexpensive plots and build relatively budgetary housing. No one is in a hurry from here. Here there are wooden multi-family slums, almost unfit for living, but, nevertheless, not yet demolished, and new buildings.

Unprovoked associations with the perception of the word "vandalism" on the streets of the city, obtained through answers to an open question, are mostly negative: destruction (24.1%), anger / rage (22.4%), crime (13.1%). Analogous results were obtained from an analysis of the evoked associations, which were obtained on the basis of a question with the answers: the leaders of popularity here were harm (74.9%), damage (65.7%), destruction (58.1%), abuse (26, 4%). But when showing photographs of graffiti on private property (13%) and municipal buildings (3%), broken urns (17%), broken windows of transport stops (21%). The perception of photo vandalism is not negative - it's not a graffiti problem, romantic correspondence and any other, etc. In other words, at a stereotyped level, the majority of respondents have a clear association of vandalism with something doomed, negative. On the other hand, a more detailed analysis suggests some flexibility in their assessments and, moreover, a photograph of the familiar environment is not associated with vandalism. Only a broken sculpture is unequivocally recognized as vandalism in 100% of cases. First, the contrast between provoked and unprovoked associations leads to this conclusion: without seeing a clear list of answers, respondents less often call negative associations with vandalism and more often mention estimated neutral positions (for example, self-expression, creativity). Secondly, this indicates the distribution of answers to the question of whether vandalism can be considered an acceptable behavior: 60.5% of the respondents admit such an excuse. Thus, although the interviewed young people can not be called deliberately predisposed to vandalism, the taboo nature of such practices isn't obvious to them at all.A large-scale field study showed a link between the concentration of vandal manifestations, their nature and the socioeconomic situation in the metropolitan area. In a period of lower real incomes, citizens tend to save on entertainment, choosing as an option street-art, not being able to change the environment to a more ergonomic, transform it [6].

Outworn stereotypes

Romantic, artistic graffiti occupy less than 1/3 of all manifestations (Fig.1).

Figure 1

This is love: "I need you".


The author of the inscription on the apartment building did not aspire to create a highly artistic inscription. He applied a romantic inscription to his beloved girl at home. residents of the house can apply for removal of the inscription, but they will not brighten up soon. And this inscription, although it does not have an obscene nature. The author of the inscription, perhaps has no courage to personally report this to the object of love. And perhaps such a public message allows him to strengthen the expressed emotions [7,8].

The transformations of the phenomenon

More than half – marketing (Fig.3) of the shadow economy (Fig.2): advertising of social services, minor repairs and drugs (in bulk), also a small share of 0.2% of burning, 0.3% destruction of elements of improvement, 2.7% significant littering of territories

Figure 2

Sale of prohibited goods in skype.

Figure 3

Advertising rentals and baths on the fence of the plant: vandalism or marketing.


Marketing communication on the walls of the city has a bidirectional character. Advertising of legal goods and services without paying taxes. The second is much worse - advertising of prohibited goods and works. Both options cause economic and social damage. However, the townspeople marked in our study such photos as vandalism, since there are no destruction of the building. But they designated a territory with such graffiti as unfriendly, unsafe, undesirable for living.

4. Discussion

In the urban environment, residents are often forced to meet the results of vandalism [9]. Vandals like to leave a trail or provoke others, or to inform the world about something, including profit (Kaspersky Lab, 2017).

The problem of urban vandalism is periodically posed by researchers (Bobkova, 2012; Danilov et al, 2013; Gitman et al., 2016, Pamoukagllian, 2011, etc.). However, it is necessary to conduct an interdisciplinary, systematic study of the problem [10,11,12]. Today, the same vandals are increasingly "working" on city streets - using it as free banners. This is a fairly common form of vandalism, which includes the use, without the owner's consent, of his property for announcements, notes (Pamukazhkhlyan V., 2016, Danilov EM, Olesova SA, 2013, etc.).

Scientific schools of psychologists give advice to parents (Mursalieva G., 2017), track the behavior of children in the city, demonstrate safe paths. However, how many parents do it regularly, how many of them are psychologists, so that they can competently, accurately and effectively help children, which will have a long-term effect [13].

In fact, it can be said that potentially the city's space is fertile ground for vandalism on the property of other residents and organizations, and the forms of such vandalism can be very diverse. Young people actively work on the Internet and advertising on the houses of the city of sites of prohibited goods quickly finds its client. But because of their little social experience, they are easily exposed to high risks of collision with crime, extremism [14,15]. Estimation of the probability of these risks and their minimization algorithms requires a full-fledged empirical analysis of the very causes of their occurrence.

5. Conclusions

Vandalism as destructive behavior of citizens and the social situation are interdependent. Well-being, including domestic influence on the likelihood of vandalism, and vice versa - vandalism affects the citizens, causing apathy, aggression. Successful families tend to migrate to closed safe areas.


This study was prepared on the basis of support of Russian Science Foundation (RSF) grant 17-18-01278.



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ISSN: 2413-0877