The article is devoted to studying styles of consumption in the field of leisure, focusing on sporting clays which became popular among the Russian elite in the second half of 1990s. The study demonstrates that today people with medium and low income are also engaged in sporting clays. The question arises as to whether sporting clays stimulates social differentiation or social integration. The empirical data collected from participants of a sporting clays club describe the institutionalization process of sporting clays in modern Russia, show social and economic qualities of shooters, and present a typology of people engaged in this kind of shooting.
In this research, some practices associated with a healthy lifestyle (e.g., playing sports, eating nutrition foods regularly, avoiding smoking, and not abusing alcohol) are investigated. On the basis of the RLMS-HSE data, we analyze how the percentage of Russians using these practices changed from 2000 to 2014, and how the adherence to the healthy lifestyle depends on the different socio-economic factors. Cluster analysis did not refute the hypothesis that many lifestyles exist between the most and the least healthy choices depending on which factor influences health. Thus, it was possible to find eight health-related lifestyles: healthy, unhealthy, and others in between them (“preventive”, “passive”, “neutral”, “moderate risk”, “negative effect of harmful work”, and “smoking”), which are distinguished by the level of their risk index and by the main negative effect on health. Regression analysis has shown that, all other things being equal, social class significantly influences the choice of health-related lifestyle (“neutral” being a base category) for all styles except “moderate risk.” A model using dummies of social classes as determinants is better construed than another one using the separate parameters of social status (e.g., education level, income, and professional status). Therefore, the “healthy” and “preventive” lifestyles are the most typical for “higher” and “higher-middle” classes. “Middle-middle” classes suffer from the negative effect of harmful work. Both “lower” and “lower-lower” classes are disposed to “passive” and “smoking” lifestyles. The “lower-lower” class also chooses the most “unhealthy” lifestyle, which is characterized by alcohol abuse.
A new book by the economic anthropologist Stephen Gudeman presents the analysis of the balance between self-interest and mutuality in economic relations. It is based on the extensive ethnographic data collected by the author and his colleagues during 20th century. As a theoretical schema Gudeman offers a model of the five institutional spheres: house, community, commerce, finance and meta-finance, in which the combination of the last three characterizes the state of modern capitalism. These spheres, on the one hand, represent a historical sequence that reflects changes in the speed, quantity and level of abstraction in economic transactions. On the other hand, the economic spheres are interdependent and exist simultaneously in close cooperation and conflict. Collaboration works through various linking mechanisms such as rent, barter, money, etc., and conflicts manifest themselves when two sides of the economic life – empathy and competition – confront each other. According to Gudeman, the feature of modern market capitalism is the unrestrained growth of rents. Rents give the banks, manufacturers, sellers of goods and services non-competitive benefits, which are covered by the rhetoric of competition and displace empathy as an important part of economic life. This imbalance creates inequality for household and community as the least protected participants in economic relations. A field anthropologist, Gudeman demonstrates the commitment to disciplinary traditions to advocate and represent the groups under study. For him, these groups are not ethnic, religious or subcultural, but all people living in the mundane rules of the first two economic spheres. Although the measures that Gudeman proposes to restore the balance of self-interest and mutuality can hardly be discussed and certainly won’t be implemented by governments, the book represents an important contribution to the anthropological critique of modern capitalism.
This article analyzes the correlation between alcohol consumption patterns in Russian cities and the characteristics of consumers, including their social status. The empirical dataset used in this study was generated from the Russian Target Group Index for 2000–2010 and produced by Synovate Comcon. The methods used in the study include correlation analyses, cluster analyses and correspondence analyses. The results of the study confirm that differences in alcohol consumption patterns are important characteristics of social groups — stratified by gender, age, education and income — in Russia. Beer, vodka and other spirits are typically consumed by men, whereas wine, champagne and liquors are typical consumed by women. The different social classes also have different chosen beverages: the highest social classes prefer wine, champagne, cognac, whisky and exotic beverages such as rum and tequila. The volume of consumed alcohol is not an indicator of social class. Beer and vodka — beverages consumed by all social groups — are mostly consumed by the poorer and less educated. This study also identified the following consumer clusters: “light drink lovers” (beer-oriented consumption), the “masculine consumer” (consumption of beer and vodka), the “feminine consumer” (wine- and champagne-oriented consumption), and the “eclectic type” (multi-oriented consumption). These clusters have different social and demographic characteristics. In modern Russia, patterns of alcohol consumption and the social class of the consumer tend to be highly correlated. Variegated consumption patterns associated with the postmodern lifestyle were detected in fewer than 5% consumers of alcohol; these consumers tended to be educated, well-off, young and employed in executive positions.
The author studies relationships between medical representatives and physicians from the structural embeddedness perspective. Based on the research she discloses the existing practices of relationships between pharmaceutical companies and physicians, describes possible ways of resolving administrative and legal problems associated with new regulations of drug turnover. The author also gives attention to the dissolution of ties as an important element of network analysis.
Following Western and American trends, modern Russian society is going through a change in consumption patterns, particularly related to food products. After Russia’s transition from a “deficit society” to “a society of (over)consumption,” the question regarding the further direction of development arises. If Western countries are now moving toward “conscious consumption,” which is ideologically based on environmental concerns, then Russia has yet to make a choice. In this regard, it is necessary to understand how Russian food management will develop in the future. For this paper, an indicator often bypassed by researchers in the study of nutrition practices was chosen—food wasting. This research is based on 22 in-depth interviews and attempts to identify the semantic contexts that keep informants from wasting food or that stimulate food waste food. According to the results of the study, it became clear that, in addition to the expected rational attitudes tied to the optimization of food management, this issue is interpreted in terms of informants’ values, coupled with the social embeddedness of their practices of throwing out or saving food products, whose roots originate in the Soviet past and are transmitted from generation to generation.