In the book, the issue of skills formation and utilization in the system of formal education and in the labor market are discussed. The recent mainstream concepts of skills are critically analyzed alongside the less known, alternative perspectives. The book addresses several myths related to skills formation and deployment. The first one concerns the relationship between the level of skills and wages; the second is about the demand on “soft” skills in the future economy; the third one addresses the growth of high-skilled jobs; and the fourth one, the supply-led skills policies. In the handbook, the necessity of a paradigmatic shift from the skills formation towards their better utilization is discussed across the fields of education sciences, economics and political studies. Based on the analysis of recent empirical evidence, the authors elaborate the concepts of social construction of skills, “skills ecosystems”, capabilities and skills, and other. The authors compare institutions and skills policies, including the systems of qualifications, in various countries. Still, most of the empirical illustrations and theoretical concepts presented in the book refer rather to the developed market economies, whereas the analysis of the situation in other countries, in particular, in BRICS, is quite limited. Nevertheless, the handbook is with no doubt of high interest to the Russian readership, as it is, probably, the first successful attempt to systematize and critically reassess the existing knowledge in the fields of skills formation and utilization.
As part of the XVI April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, HSE — Moscow, two sessions on economics and law were held 9 April 2015. The first session, Law Enforcement and Entrepreneurs, was chaired by a leading researcher from the Institute of Law Enforcement at the European University in St. Petersburg Kirill Titaev and the second session, Economic Analysis of Regulatory Bodies, was moderated by Andrey Shastitko, researcher from the Institute for Industrial and Market Studies, HSE Moscow. Speakers at the sessions included Irina Chetverikova (Institute for the Rule of Law at the European University at Saint-Petersburg), L. Bardin (Central Bar in Moscow), Anton Kazun (Higher School of Economics), Zinaida Poghosova (HSE) and Elena Podkolzina (HSE), D. Tsytsulina (HSE — Nizhny Novgorod), Svetlana Avdasheva HSE), and Svetlana Golovanova (HSE — Nizhny Novgorod). The direction of the debate in the first session was partly formulated by Titaev, when he noted that more correct name for first session would be Law and Rational Choice. According to the Titaev, in this case, it is appropriate to speak about economic rationality, which is common to all parties involved in the process: the accused, the victim, judges and defendants. At the next session, the focus shifted to the discussion of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). Real decision-making practices and risks of introducing criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of the organization were at the center of the debate. Both sessions highlighted the obvious challenge that often formal rules and their changes do not completely determine the situation, but may also be influenced by informal norms. The distinction between formal rules and informal norms is a key issue of economic sociology. The focus of both sessions was not only the formal rules in law enforcement system, but also real-life practices. Speakers described the logic of awarding judgment using the examples from different legal cases. They concluded that actions which seem illogical for an external observer (such as the refusal of companies to provide FAS evidence in their favor) often have their own internal rationality. Therefore, researchers need to know not only the laws, but also the informal norms. This problem has been widely discussed in recent years and definitely will be an important issue for future studies in economic sociology.
This article is based on the sample of 10 000 decisions of Russian criminal courts and series of expert interviews with judges, investigators, prosecutors and attorneys. In the text, I analyze the probability of pretrial detention and the influence of this decision on the following court behavior. Empirical data is the simple random sample from the decisions published on the websites of Russian district courts (the main level in the system of Russian criminal justice) during 2011. There are two groups of questions in the world scholarly discussion. The first group is bound up with the role of various strongly extralegal (like a gender and a race) and semi-extralegal (like a socioeconomic status and an educational level) characteristics of the defendant in the decision about pretrial detention or release. The second group deals with the effects of pretrial detention on other court decisions (dismissing of the case, the type of punishment and the length of incarceration). These questions are resolved in this article using regression models. The probability of pretrial detention in Russia is statistically significantly higher for unemployed defendants and defendants with informal criminal records. The fact of pretrial detention is closely associated with the probability of case dismissal. The defendants who are detained before trial have less probability of case dismissal. In addition, pretrial detention increases the probability of incarceration as a form of punishment. The linear influence of the pretrial detention on the length of incarceration is not statistically significant.
This article presents a review of Jenny Lantz’s book The Trendmakers: Behind the Scenes of the Global Fashion Industry. The book engages in a sociological and economic inquiry into trend forecasting in the fashion industry. Trend forecasting is a special kind of business that focuses on predicting future trends in consumers’ taste. Making such decisions usually seems intuitive: In distinguishing between “fashionable” and “unpopular” products, people commonly rely on subjective opinions. Furthermore, the fashion business is an example of extremely turbulent aesthetic goods market in which any forecasting seems difficult. Using the results obtained from nearly one hundred in-depth interviews, Lantz unveils the magic of the trend-hunting business. Referring to classical sociological theories of fashion, including Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of power and symbolic capital, Lantz describes how trend forecasting agencies — including global organizations like WGSN and Trend Union, as well as local companies like Promostyl — achieve legitimacy by working with consultants, buyers, fashion designers, and social influencers. The book reveals that trend forecasting is not about future-telling; rather, it is more about “future-feeling” based on shared perceptions of class, status, and taste. Lantz also provides an insight into developing markets of BRICS countries, including China, Brazil, India, and Russia. Although the section on Russia is quite brief, it contains useful information about big retailers and Russian designers, and it may be useful for further research on the Russian market. The book may attract sociologists, economists, and business students, as well as a wider audience interested in the global fashion industry.
The issue of social inequality has always been a focus of sociological knowledge. Meanwhile, extensive discussions about new forms of inequality and social participation were driven by changes in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. As a result, the topic of “precarity” has become more relevant in recent times. The reasons for this interest are the growing tensions in labor markets and problems of employment systems in various countries. The purpose of this article is to study the precarious opportunities for employees in the context of an analysis of their self-assessments of the risks of job losses and future labor incomes, as well as to compare this self-perception between those employed in Russia and Germany. The aim of the comparative analysis is the identification of social factors of the precarious employment in market economies, and to achieve an understanding of the degree of social inequality from the point of employment participation in Russia. The article starts with an examination of the theoretical foundations. These foundations are a modern interpretation of the sociological theory of the social structure of society, the development of resources, and actor theories. The model of the subjective perception of inequality A. Hense is under consideration. In the model, the conceptual provisions of methodological individualism of S. Lindenberg and P. Burdieu’s methodological relativism are integrated. The data of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey — Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) and German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) were used for multivariate analysis. Determinants (production, legal, contextual) were studied using generalized ordered probit models with random effects. As a result, the authors conclude that the precariousness of employment and incomes in Russia captures a large proportion of wage earners and is fixed throughout the observation period. A higher level of education weakens anxiety, although in Russia it should be more significant than in Germany. Workers are a risk group in the self-perception of precarity, but the situation in Russia is changing if differentiated professional groups are evaluated. Working conditions depend on the system of social support for workers and on the social capital of workers (family support and the origin of the worker). The selfperception of precariousness among workers increases if the number of dependents is high. The size of the enterprise has a different impact on self-perception of the precariousness for workers in Russia and Germany. In Russia, women are most susceptible to the perception of precarity, whereas in Germany, such effects are not recorded. In general, the study shows that the reduction of inequality in the involvement of citizens in the labor market in the modern market economy is directly related to the proactive role of the state in the social protection of workers.
The course is developed for the MA students of sociological department, who are interested in analysis of social problems and social policy. In order to succeed from the course students are supposed to have acquired the basic knowledge in labour economics, labour sociology, statistic and skills in data analysis. The main goal of the course is to teach students for critical thinking and critical analysis of the current labour market problems in comparative perspective and for application of the appropriate schemes and models for solving the social issues using the quantitative methods of individual micro level data. The course comprises of 8 lectures and 8 practical workshops in computer classes. During the practical workshops students will study to work in STATA and multilevel regression analysis techniques. The course requires the permanent work during lectures and workshops, includes interactive methods of teaching, develops the writing skills of short analytical documents and focused applied investigation of particular issue. The credits are given for work in the workshops, writing an essay and passing tests.
At the end of the course students supposed to have basic knowledge and analytical skills for solving the social problems in the field of labour and employment under the focus of gender differences, wage discrimination, institutional country peculiarities and global economic changes. These knowledge and skills will be of high value and use in international scientific and business organizations
The article analyzes managerial practices in creating trust in a company from the perspective of stakeholders when they are concerned about potential negative effects of the company’s actions. The purpose of the study is to determine managerial practices that undermine trust in the company by the stakeholders in a situation of risk concern, to explore why this happens and to develop practical implications for the formation of trust in a company under such situations. Four approaches to trust theory — a rational choice under risk, an act of faith, a psychological condition and a moral attitude — form the theoretical basis of the study. Stakeholder risk concern is examined by drawing on the example of the industrial development of the Arctic by the Gazprom group of companies (Gazprom Neft, Gazprom Neft Shelf, Gazprom). The research examines the position of environmental NGOs, Russian Bird Conservation Union, WWF Russia, Greenpeace Russia and Bellona-Murmansk. Data include press releases of these environmental organizations and other archival documents in which representatives of the environmental organizations express their concerns about the actions of the Gazprom group of companies in the development of the Prirazlomnoe oil field. The author identifies seven managerial practices that may seem reasonable for managers but undermine trust in the company and increase stakeholder concern. The author carefully discusses why these practices are not helpful in building trust in a company. Based on this analysis, the author draws conclusions regarding a possible base for trust in a company by stakeholders in a situation of risk concern.