Rene Almeling’s book Sex Cells: The Medical Market for Eggs and Sperm concerns the issues of the gendered framing of the market and the commodification of the human body and its parts. With the rich empirical base of the study, Almeling offers a new way of theorizing bodily commodification, noting the non-commonality of this phenomenon and emphasizing the diversity of market organizational and experienced practices. The detailed and unbiased analysis of market organization and its experience, in which these two aspects are viewed in their interrelationship, promotes a better understanding of what is occurring when bodily products are offered for sale. In addition, Almeling develops Viviana Zelizer’s model for market analysis, adding a biological factor to the economic, structural, and cultural factors. The book teaches us not to forget that the phenomena of the social world are highly complex and multifaceted and, therefore, cannot be explained with the application of simplified analytical schemes. Moreover, Almeling’s study, in which she links together several layers of social reality, is an excellent example of how to deal with this task. The book review acquaints readers with the basic points of the book and sex cells’ market construction in the United States; it also focuses on the issues that require further investigation. The reviewer will try to show the importance of including the biological factor in the theoretical framework for market analyses and its possibilities beyond such a “peripheral” and sensitive subject.
Importance: Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States but regional variation within the United States is large. Comparable and consistent state-level measures of total CVD burden and risk factors have not been produced previously. Objective: To quantify and describe levels and trends of lost health due to CVD within the United States from 1990 to 2016 including risk factors driving these changes. Design: CVD mortality, nonfatal health outcomes and associated risk factors were analyzed by age group, sex, and year from 1990 to 2016 using standardized approaches for data processing and statistical modeling. Burden of disease was estimated by for 10 groupings of CVD and comparative risk analysis was performed. Setting: United States of America Exposures: US states and the District of Columbia Main Outcome: CVD Disability-adjusted Life Years Results: Between 1990 and 2016, age-standardized CVD DALYs for all states decreased. Several states had large rises in their relative rank ordering for total CVD DALYs among states, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas, Alaska, and Iowa. The rate of decline varied widely across states, and CVD burden increased for a small number of states in the most recent years. CVD DALYs remained twice as large among men as women. 3 Ischemic heart disease was the leading cause of CVD DALYs in all states but the second most common varied by state. Trends were driven by 12 groups of risk factors, with the largest attributable CVD burden due to dietary risk exposures followed by high systolic blood pressure, high body mass index, high total cholesterol, high fasting plasma glucose, tobacco smoking and low levels of physical activity. Increases in risk-deleted CVD DALY rates between 2006 and 2016 in 16 states suggests additional unmeasured risk beyond these traditional factors. Conclusions and Relevance: Large disparities in total burden of CVD persist between US states despite marked improvements in cardiovascular disease burden. Differences in CVD burden is largely attributable to modifiable risk exposures.
Foreign patenting faces a number of difficulties: necessity of preparation of a great number of demands, payment of great sums by the patent attorney in the form of patent fees. Work of patent departments is duplicated. Two international mechanisms facilitate these difficulties: Paris convention on protection of industrial property (1883) Patent cooperation treaty (1970). E.P.Gavrilov – doctor of sciences, professor, chair of the civil low of the state university Heigher school of economy the partisipant of the soviet delegation at this conference recollects this conference.
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The abduction of women is closely connected with traditional or primitive societies. Anthropologists tie it with alternative marriage arrangements, characteristic of those systems where marriages are arranged by parents; historians tend to view the abduction of women as part of early history of developed nations, mostly the Middle Ages. In Russia, recent historiographical discussion of abductions always starts with descriptions of customary practices in Siberia to highlight the steppe and frontier experiences in the framework of colonization and underline ‘savage’ or ‘backwardness’ of Siberian populations. However, scholars almost never talk about the abduction of women within the European part. In this article, female abductions are analyzed within the framework of citizenship and modernization of the Russian Empire in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It focuses on the notion of consent and how it contributed to the founding of a new social unit, that is the family, in which women and men acquired their rights and duties in relation to outside society and wider polity. The lack of consent jeopardized the legitimacy of such a union and compromized the citizenship status of its members. On its way to build the country as a modern empire, Russian authorities localized the abduction of women as a ‘customary’ practice of ‘backwards’ people to preserve the modern European core of the Empire.
This paper considers the problem of abortion in modern Russia. Using official statistics, we analyze the dynamics of abortion indicators since the early 1990s. On the basis of representative national sample surveys, we conclude that official statistics are complete and reliable. This in turn confirms the steady decline of abortions during the post-Soviet years.
A particularly rapid decline in abortions is seen among the youngest women. Modern teenagers have fewer abortions than their predecessors at this age. The current level of induced abortions in women under age 20 in Russia today is less than in France, Great Britain, Sweden, and a number of other developed countries of European culture.
The major differentiating factor for frequency of abortion is age. There are no clear correlations between the risks of abortion in Russia and such standard social characteristics as income, type of settlement and education. Despite the positive trend, Russia remains one of the countries with the highest abortion rates in the world.
The country’s turn to traditional values and the allegedly growing role of religion are inadequate mechanisms to reduce abortions. Government support is given not to proven, evidence-based measures like the promotion of family planning, sex education, etc., but to repression and restrictions. During the past 10-15 years, a number of restrictive amendments have been introduced into legislation. The authors indicate the counterproductive effects of these restrictions on abortion as an instrument of a pronatalist population policy.
This article contributes to the growing body of research on the increasing role of judicial systems in regulating politics and religion (‘judicialization of politics and religion’) across the globe. By examining how academic expertise is deployed in anti-extremist litigation involving Russia’s minority religions, this article reveals important processes involved in this judicial regulation, in particular when legal and academic institutions lack autonomy and consistency of operation. It focuses on the selection of experts and the validation of their opinion within Russia’s academia and the judiciary, and identifies patterns in the experts’ approach to evidence and how they validate their conclusions in the eyes of the judiciary. Academic expertise provides an aura of legitimacy to judicial decisions in which anti-extremist legislation is used as a means to control unpopular minority religions and to regulate Russia’s religious diversity. As one of the few systematic explorations of this subject and the first focused on Russia, this article reveals important processes that produce religious discrimination and the role that anti-extremist legislation plays in these processes.
Student attrition in postsecondary education is a significant public policy problem. Nations invest substantial resources in college systems, and when students leave, this investment is lost. To understand the factors that influence student attrition in US and Russian public universities, we use the perspective of academic momentum, defined empirically as measures representing student enrollment and study progress. Using a discrete-time event history analysis of samples of eight US and two Russian universities, we provide support for the central claims of the academic momentum theory that undergraduate students who progress through college more rapidly have a lower likelihood of attrition. However, a more detailed analysis reveals variability in the relationship between several academic momentum measures and student attrition, depending on a university’s selectivity and the student’s chosen academic field and gender.
This article is based on a case study conducted within the National Research University Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE) that examined the identity fragmentation of academic professionals in the context of current educational and academic reforms in Russia. Seven hundred and five professors were surveyed for the study, which focused on budgeting work time. The authors single out and describe eight groups of teachers using various structures for budgeting their working time: (1) teachers; (2) teachers engaged in research; (3) teachers engaged in administrative work; (4) researchers; (5) administrators; (6) teachers/researchers/administrators; (7) teachers/researchers; and (8) teachers/administrators. These groups were classified by comparing professional goals, evaluations of working conditions, the university's strategic goals, and attitudes toward publication policy.
Employing a person-oriented approach to acculturation expectations held by Russian majority group members, we investigated the presence of groups of profiles and relationships between acculturation expectation profiles and intergroup attitudes. Applying latent profile analysis, we found three easy-to-interpret acculturation expectation profiles: biculturalism expectations, alternate-biculturalism expectations (with public—private domain differences in preference), and assimilation expectations. The subsequent comparative analysis showed that these profiles mainly differed in the extent of the desirability of maintenance of heritage culture, and adoption of the mainstream culture by immigrants only in private domains of life. The biculturalism expectation profile contained individuals who support the idea of a multicultural society. The alternate-biculturalism expectation profile contained individuals with slightly less emphasis on adoption of mainstream acculturation for immigrants, a distinction between preferences in the public and private domains of life, more focus on public domains, and less right-wing authoritarianism. The assimilation expectation profile contained individuals with a higher dangerous worldview and endorsement of discrimination, and lower support of a multicultural ideology, willingness to engage in intergroup contact, and desire of maintenance of heritage acculturation for immigrants. Our study demonstrated the value of a person-oriented approach in a population where subgroups differ in the domain dependence of their acculturation expectations.
This study tests a model of the socio-economic adaptation of Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium. It examines the roles of language skills and length of stay in Belgium, and of ethnic and religious identification in their acculturation preferences in their adaptation. The study showed that language skills were positively related to preferences for integration and assimilation, while length of stay was negatively related to separation. In turn, integration and assimilation predicted higher socio-economic adaptation, and separation predicted lower adaptation. Ethnic and religious identification also played a role. In sum, more orientation toward the host society (integration and assimilation) promoted better adaptation.
This article presents the results of a study on the relationship of acculturation profiles of Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium, the duration of their stay, and their socio-economic adaptation. The data came from a socio-psychological survey of 132 Russian-speaking immigrants in Belgium (first generation) and were processed using latent profile analysis. We found three latent groups with differing acculturation profiles, largely resembling integration, assimilation, and separation. We found that a more positive orientation towards the host society (assimilation and integration) was associated with more socio-economic adaptation; moreover, the group with an assimilation profile was more adapted than the group with an integration profile. Also, the level of socio-economic adaptation was higher for immigrants who have stayed in the host country for more than five years.
In the freshly published research letter, Dong, Milholland, and Vijg (DMV) reported that they found strong evidence for a limit to human lifespan. Analyzing data from International Database on Longevity2, they found that the yearly maximum reported age at death (MRAD, i.e. age at death of the world’s oldest person died in a specific year) stopped increasing from the mid-1990-s reaching a plateau at around 115 years. Even though the authors acknowledge that the data on “the supercentenarians <…> are still noisy and made of small samples”, they feel safe to conclude that “the results strongly suggest that the human lifespan has a natural limit”. I argue that the results and conclusions of the study are likely to be caused by just a data artifact, and that they are hardly generalizable for the humanity.
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.
This article deals with the recently revealed paradox that contemporary Muslims score higher on Protestant work ethic than contemporary Protestants. The author tests whether this phenomenon is supported by World Values Survey (WVS) data. According to Inglehart’s theory of post-materialist shift, work ethic should be stronger in the developing societies where there is a lack of existential security. The author also tests whether the effects of the Protestant work ethic extend beyond the religious population of Protestant countries. The multilevel models built on 25,437 respondents in 55 countries show no significant difference in work ethic between Muslims and Protestants. Living in a historically Protestant society does not increase work ethic, but being religious in a Protestant society does. As countries develop, work ethic is likely to decrease. This poses further questions about the universal features of religious ethics and the non-religious factors explaining the economic progress associated with the Protestant work ethic.
The paper grounds the necessity of much earlier socialization of children in the Internet age. The main goal is to make children (including teenagers) be aware of possible social consequences of their misuse of information and communication technologies, in particular, of the cell telephones and the Internet. An original method of early forming the cognitive subspace of moral values and social responsibility is stated. It is a part of the System of Emotional-Imaginative Teaching (the EIT-system) developed and successfully tested by the authors during 1990s – 2000s. For describing this method, a new formal notation for representing transformations of the learners’ cognitive-emotional sphere and the spectrum of information processing skills is proposed, it is called the notation of the maps of cognitive transformations. The described method of early socialization and the EIT-system as a whole are interpreted as an important component of cognitonics - a new scientific discipline. The paper also represents a new way of considering impressionism under the frame of cognitonics. An original algorithm of transforming the negative emotions (caused by the messages received from social networks) into the positive ones is proposed. This algorithm considers the possible reactions of a human (including the recommended reactions) to the emotional attacks via social networks. It is proposed to include an analysis of the kind into the program of the interdisciplinary course “Foundations of secure living in information society”.
The concept of active ageing shifts the focus of the discussion of the consequences of ageing from negative expectations of a growing burden of public costs to the analysis of opportunities of using the potential of elderly people. This paper is aimed at testing the applicability of international approaches to measure active ageing to the situation in Russia. For this purpose, we use the international Active Ageing Index (AAI), developed by the experts from the European Centre Vienna. The AAI is a multidimensional composite index that consists of 22 indicators and measures the untapped potential of older people in four major areas: (1) employment, (2) participation in society, (3) independent, healthy and secure life, (4) capacity for active ageing. Our empirical estimation of the AAI is based on several surveys: Russian Population Census (2010), GGS (2011), CMLC (2011), ESS (2010 and 2012), RLMS (2011), HMD (2010), IHME (2010). These data sources provide relatively high comparability of the AAI results for Russia with EU countries. The results show that the AAI equals 31.1 points, which means about 69% of unused potential for active ageing of the elderly in Russia, and corresponds to the 18th place in ranking of 29 European countries. Russia performs relatively better in the employment and capacity for active ageing domains. It is in the bottom of the ranking in the independent, healthy and secure life domain
To derive reliable demographic indicators, appropriate data on population exposures are needed. Access to such data is becoming increasingly challenging in many countries due to factors such as the growing diversity of international migration patterns and the trend towards replacing full censuses with register-based censuses. Germany represents a particularly challenging case in this respect. Before Germany implemented its first register-based census in 2011, the country had not conducted a census for more than two decades. This census revealed that the number of people living in Germany in 2011 was about 1.5 million lower than the previous official post-censal population estimates for that year indicated. It is likely that a large portion of this discrepancy had existed for quite some time prior to 2011. Due to the long inter-censal period, the Federal Statistical Office of Germany decided not to produce backward-adjusted population estimates by single-year ages and sex for the whole period. The main aim of this paper is thus to make such detailed adjusted inter-censal population estimates available. While we have to take the peculiarities of the German case into account, our evaluation of different strategies offers important insights for developing a generalised methodology to adjust inter-censal population estimates for globalised countries that face challenges in ensuring the proper registration of migration events. We discuss four alternative approaches for deriving adjusted inter-censal population estimates. The results suggest that even for a rather complicated case like Germany, a relatively simple approach seems to work reasonably well. Finally, we demonstrate to what extent the implemented adjustments affect mortality indicators. The adjusted inter-censal population estimates for Germany and its federal states are provided in the online data appendix.
The structure of Russians' life course has never been studied in depth; the only exception is demographic studies regarding marital status and age at childbirth. Principles that define life trajectories should also be examined. The “adult” concept is one of a number of important concepts in the general structure of life planning. This article presents an agenda for future research based on several case studies obtained during a longitudinal study of educational and occupational trajectories. Studying the transition into adulthood is an important resource for understanding the modern times. However, another option is also possible. This concept of transition into adulthood can also be considered as a phenomenon of contemporary culture. The research perspective of cultural sociology, whose methodology is described as structural hermeneutics, can serve these purposes. Structural hermeneutics refers to an analysis of the structure of senses both intersubjective and collectively shared. It is important to analyze how the adult concept is used with regard to the structure of the life course in materials from Russian studies, with account for the ambivalence of this concept and research conducted in other countries.
Currently one of the main tools for the large scale studies of schools is statistical analysis. Although it is the most common method and it offers greatest opportunities for analysis, there are other quantitative methods for studying schools, such as network analysis. We discuss the potential advantages that network analysis has for educational research.