Educational choice of Russian high school students in grade nine
Drawing on the data provided by Russian panel study ‘Trajectories in Education and Careers’ (TrEC), we explore the different rationales pupils employ in deciding their education path in grade nine. Drawing on the relative risk aversion theory we show how young people’s decision-making logics are aimed at class maintenance and risk management. Using a qualitative methodology we show that the decision to continue into grade ten with the view to enter a university program is largely a ‘non-decision’ informed by class-appropriate ambition. While students from higher socio-economic backgrounds ‘automatically’ enrol in grade ten, students of lower socio-economic backgrounds tend to opt for vocational education in the hope of ‘fast-tracking’ to adulthood and the world of work. Drawing on the concept of a ‘cultural narrative’ we also demonstrate that what is considered ‘rational,’ ‘safe’, ‘risky,’ etc. is both class- and culture-specific.
In an analysis of research data on three generations of Russians, it was found that the impetus prompted by the social and economic transformation in the early 1990s that opened up opportunities for social and professional growth had been practically exhausted by late 2006, and the tendency toward downward social mobility has become more pronounced. This provides evidence that the social structure of today's Russia is "stagnant" and there are no positive shifts in its dynamics.
Current empirical sociology features a limited set of indicators for associating individuals with certain social groups (classes or strata). European sociologists rely heavily on such an informative descriptor as occupation, which has become institutionalized and thus produces certain requirements of human, social and cultural resources for individuals to perform the underlying functions. However, this indicator manifests at least two substantial restrictions: first, it is natural that certain types of economic activity are historically less stable than the social classes with which they are associated; and second, Russian history demonstrates that in a developed society the system of occupations is consistent with its institutional set-up and system of values, which are transferred from generation to generation. In Russia specific occupations are associated with a certain character of labour yet not with particular status characteristics that should result from the corporate nature of professional associations. In fact, in that society there exists a unique form of social stratification, in which a hierarchy of social estates dominates elements of true class differentiation.
The concept of social inequality, its nature and forms.
From an international comparative perspective, this third book in the prestigious ‘eduLIFE Lifelong Learning Series’ provides a thorough investigation into how social inequalities arise during individuals’ secondary schooling careers. Paying particular attention to the role of social origin and prior performance, it focuses on tracking and differentiation in secondary schooling, examining the short- and long-term effects on inequality of opportunities. It looks at ways in which differentiation in secondary education might produce and reproduce social inequalities in educational opportunities and educational attainment.
Models of Secondary Education and Social Inequality brings together a number of cross-national and country studies conducted by well-known experts in the field. In contrast to existing empirical research, this book reconstructs individuals’ educational careers step-by-step, providing a longitudinal perspective essential for an appropriate understanding of the dynamics of inequalities in secondary education. The international viewpoint allows for an illuminating comparison in light of the different models, rules and procedures that regulate admission selection and learning in different countries.
This book will be of great interest to policymakers, researchers and professional experts in the field, including sociologists, pedagogues, international political scientists and economists, and also serves as a major text for postgraduate and postdoctoral courses.
Analysis of social exclusion in city space.
Internаtional Sociological Association, Working Group on Local and Global Relations (WG 01)
Students' internet usage attracts the attention of many researchers in different countries. Differences in internet penetration in diverse countries lead us to ask about the interaction of medium and culture in this process. In this paper we present an analysis based on a sample of 825 students from 18 Russian universities and discuss findings on particularities of students' ICT usage. On the background of the findings of the study, based on data collected in 2008-2009 year during a project "A сross-cultural study of the new learning culture formation in Germany and Russia", we discuss the problem of plagiarism in Russia, the availability of ICT features in Russian universities and an evaluation of the attractiveness of different categories of ICT usage and gender specifics in the use of ICT.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.