Новое общество – новый ресурс – новый класс? (К 60-летию теории человеческого капитала)
A striking contradiction exists between the post-industrial discourse, which is widespread in today’s Russia, and
lack of studies on social groups that are of crucial significance for the post-industrial society. Given the existing
groups of professionals, the most relevant for this study is the one described by Rosstat as “highly qualified
specialists”. This social group is beyond the traditional classification which implies polarization between the
workers employed and capitalists as the feature of the previous socio-economic formation. Social significance of
this group increases due to the ownership on human capital – the key resource for the “knowledge economy”.
Literature review reveals two main relevant domains: the sociology of professions, and sources on the social and
professional structure of the modern society. The latter, being far less represented by contemporary Russian
sociology, is organically linked to the post-industrial discourse. Its framework allows to interpret the human
capital of domestic professionals in the context of post-Soviet Russia undergoing the process of transition
to a post-industrial society. The weakness of this approach is due to the relatively small size of the class of
professionals in Russia, on the one hand, as well as its heterogeneity, on the other hand. Human capital, i.e.
knowledge, skills and competencies are the key elements that professionals use as an economic asset. This
criterion allows to differentiate this social group as one of the proto-classes of the future post-industrial society.