Старение как социально-экономический феномен
In the face of rapidly aging population, decreasing regional inequalities in population composition is one of the regional cohesion goals of the European Union. To our knowledge, no explicit quantification of the changes in regional population aging differentiation exist. We investigate how regional differences in population aging developed over the last decade and how they are likely to evolve in the coming three decades, and we examine how demographic components of population growth contribute to the process. We use the beta-convergence approach to test whether regions are moving towards a common level of population aging. The change in population composition is decomposed into the separate effects of changes in the size of the non-working-age population and of the working-age population. The latter changes are further decomposed into the effects of cohort turnover, migration at working ages, and mortality at working ages. European Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS)-2 regions experienced notable convergence in population aging during the period 2003–2012 and are expected to experience further convergence in the coming three decades. Convergence in aging mainly depends on changes in the population structure of East-European regions. Cohort turnover plays the major role in promoting convergence. Differences in mortality at working ages, though quite moderate themselves, have a significant cumulative effect. The projections show that when it is assumed that net migration flows at working ages are converging across European regions, this will not contribute to convergence of population aging. The beta-convergence approach proves useful to examine regional variations in population aging across Europe.
The article presents a brief description of the demographic processes in Russia for decades, forecast scenarios of demographic development, and discusses the major demographic challenges to the education system.
Demographic transition leads to huge changes in the age composition of the population and in the structure of the person’s life cycle. This dramatically increases the number of elderly people per one adult and reduces the number of children, but the total dependency ratio of children and elderly people changes insignificantly. Historically developed pay-as-you-go pension systems were targeted at pre-transitional age structure with a small share of elderly people. The population aging requires the replacement of these systems with defined contribution pension systems that would relate pensions to the person’s life cycle structure instead of the population structure thus providing person’s post-labor life with savings earned in the course of the working period.
The legally established retirement age should take into account demographic factors such as life expectancy as well as their disability-free life expectancy of males and females at this age. There are no demographic backgrounds for raising the retirement age in Russia.
China's economic success is largely determined by very low population dependency ratio. This situation was a result of the demographic policy in the PRC. However, another consequence of the same policy becomes imminent rapid aging of China's population. It is very likely that by the early 2030s the country after half a century of unprecedented success will enter a period of coping.
Problems of the population aging in Russia are examened
The present paper discusses perspectives of Activity Theory (AT) in the context of contemporary globalizing world, describing which we refer to the notion “De-structuralized modernity” (Sorokin & Froumin, 2020). Radical changes in everyday life challenge social sciences and humanities. Approaches are in demand, which have the potential to comprehend the changing human étant and éntre. We argue that Activity Theory has the potential to face these challenges. Leontiev’s AT grounds on the idea of qualitatively new mental features arising to deal with novel environmental challenges, which is much in line with J.M. Baldwin reasoning on evolution. AT also offers a method to prognosis the upcoming neoplasms. In the same time, applying classics of AT to the current reality, “De-structuralized modernity”, entails the need for new theoretical elaborations of the latter, stemming from the radical transformation of the relations between individual and socio-cultural environments. A unique societal context emerges on the global level, which, on the one hand, requires individual to adapt constantly to changing socio-cultural reality, and, on the other hand, dramatically expands his/her potential for proactive actorhood transforming surrounding structures. We argue that the major and novel challenge for the individual is the task of maintaining the integrity and coherence of the a) Self-identity and b) system of links in and with the socio-cultural environment - in their dynamics and unity. The notion of “culture” has particular relevance and importance in this context because it allows grasping simultaneously two dimensions in their dynamic dialectical interrelations. First, the “internal” (“subjective”, “in the minds”) and “external” (“objective”, material and institutional environment) realities. Second, individual (“micro”) and societal (“macro”) scales of human activities. Discussing the ways to understand these dynamics, we dispute the popular “constitutive view” on personality and refer to the concept of the “ontological shift” (Mironenko & Sorokin, 2018). We also highlight how technological advancements change and “expand” human nature making it capable to deal with the outlined new tasks.
In this exploratory study, we examined several interethnic ideologies held by individuals (assimilation, colorblindness, multiculturalism, and polyculturalism) from a social ecological perspective. We examined moderation effects of neighborhood ethnic density (ED) on relationships between interethnic ideologies and intergroup bias towards various minority ethnic groups in the Russian context. Intergroup bias was assessed as a composite score of bias toward four ethnic groups who have different cultural distances from the Russian mainstream population: Chechens, Belarusians, Uzbeks, and Chinese. We obtained a gender balanced sample of ethnic Russians from the Central Federal District of Russia (N = 359) comprising of 47% women and 53% men. The measures were used in a Russian translation by an adaptation using the back-translation and cognitive interviews. Multiple regression analysis was used to test the relationships. The results showed that high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened negative relations between intergroup bias and ideologies that purportedly accept cultural diversity (multiculturalism and polyculturalism). On the other hand, for interethnic ideologies those purportedly reject cultural diversity, high perceived neighborhood non-Russian ED weakened the positive relations between intergroup bias and assimilation and strengthened the negative relations between intergroup bias and colorblindness. The pattern of results suggests that the relationship between attitudes and intergroup bias may change based on the perceived ethnic composition of the local area and frequency of contacts. Although our findings are relatively novel they support the emerging view that attitudes and intergroup relations need to be studied from a social ecological context.
The article deals with the ways Russian authorities have constructed the social problem of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) in Russia. The statistical construction of HIV/AIDS includes data indicating the significant rise of HIV prevalence in Russia since 2000. The study focuses on what and how Russian authorities speak about HIV/AIDS, while there are official data on the rapid spread of the virus in the country. The work is based on a discourse analysis of the authorities’ rhetoric about HIV/AIDS. During his first presidential terms, Vladimir Putin constructed HIV/AIDS not as an epidemic in the country, but as a “global problem,” representing Russia as a participant in international efforts to combat AIDS. The president problematized the HIV spread through the rhetoric of endangerment but without its crucial term “epidemic,” while at the same time de-problematized HIV in Russia by the strategy of naturalizing (“this is a problem that all countries face”). The Russian authorities appealed to traditional moral values and spoke about marginal or risk groups, rather than risk practices. After the deterioration of relations with Western countries since 2007, the Russian president excluded HIV/AIDS problem from his public agenda, despite the existence of the data on steep HIV growth in Russia. The Russian president’s traditionalism, de-problematization, and silence concerning HIV/AIDS lead to the absence of the HIV/AIDS issues in media agenda, the agenda of local authorities, and consequently the personal agendas of Russian citizens. The consequences are ignorance, fears, stigmatization of people living with HIV, semi-legal status of needle, and syringe exchange programs for intravenous drug users, low antiretroviral therapy coverage, and the continuing HIV epidemic.