The article deals with the analysis of the intelligentsia phenomenon. The paper considers normative and socio-cultural dimensions of intelligentsia and the problems related to soviet and post-soviet society. The author emphasizes historical and cultural determinants of the process of evolution and development of soviet intelligent identity, its conceptualization in the colonial and post-colonial world. The article raises some general problems regarding intelligentsia / intellectual discourses as well as the destruction of intelligentsia values within the post-soviet and Russian social order in the context of its belonging to certain socio-cultural tradition, its compatibility with dimensions of morality, social responsibility and openness to changes. Synthesizing different approaches to the historical experience of formation and evolution of intelligentsia community, it also explores the role and significance of this group in the process of social reconstruction.