Социальная мобильность в советской и постсоветской России: новые количественные оценки по материалам представительных опросов 1994, 2002, 2006 и 2013 гг. Часть I
In the current article I revisit the evolution of intergenerational social mobility in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. In particular, I look at historical changes in residential, educational and occupational mobility of Russians. The study makes a potentially valuable contribution to the literature by extending the spectrum of institutional and historical contexts, in which (in)equality of opportunity has been considered so far, and a chance to re-examine existing evidence by using alternative datasets and a slightly different methodology.
For empirical part I utilize data from four representative cross-national surveys conducted in Russia in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2013. Following existing theoretical arguments developed in comparative social mobility research as well as being informed by several earlier studies, I anticipated (1) a trend towards lesser (rather than greater) openness in the late years of the Soviet era, (2) a temporary discontinuity of mobility patterns during the turbulent 1990s and (3) the tightening up of social mobility regime in the more stable years of Russia’s post-Soviet history. However, my findings reveal that no unambiguous trend existed and contradict some of the earlier evidence. In particular, I found 1) a steadily increasing closure of residential communities; 2) a weakening (rather than increasing) link between parents’ and children’s educational attainment in the post-Soviet era; 3) the invariance of social fluidity in terms of occupational attainment both in Soviet and post-Soviet periods. The paper concludes highlighting some of the remaining puzzles and possible directions for future research.
In the first article I draw the substantive distinctions between the notions of relative and absolute social mobility and their relevance for correct interpretation of existing facts about social mobility in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. It is followed by discussion of theoretical considerations, from which I draw the hypotheses of my study, and the methodological aspects, which underpin further analyses. The empirical part begins with presenting the estimates of changes in absolute mobility.