A period of qualitative changes in Russia has led to the transformation of many social aspects, including the social structure. Unsurprisingly, its specific features and certain social groups and strata are of particular interest at the moment. Both the scientific community and the general public are traditionally interested in the social entity of middle class. The term “middle class”, however, does not have a universal definition. Its meaning has been changing along with the social development and social structure transformations, depending on the historical context of a society. Moreover, several conceptually different approaches to identifying the middle class were emerging separately (due to the fact that middle class analysis was based on different goals and objectives that required different methodologies). In Russia, there is ongoing theoretical debate over the necessary and sufficient conditions for classifying an individual or a household as middle-class. Arguments for existence of the middle class in the country are quite often completely different as a result of diverse approaches and respective criteria, as well as the chosen thresholds, for identifying the sought-for middle class. Differences in the methodology of middle class identification lead to a considerable spread in the estimates of its share, from 2-3% to at least half of the population. Chapter presents different approaches to middle class definition, brief history of middle class studies in Russia and main results concerning specifics of Russian middle class from different research studies.
The chapter examines the size, composition and characteristics of the middle class in contemporary Russia
This handbook's contributing autors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratifications.
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
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.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.