The aims of this article are: (1) identifying new tendencies in social history that emerged in the 21st century, (2) analyzing its current theoretical premises, (3) identifying the most rapidly and intensively developing fields of research, intra- and interdisciplinary alliances, and central themes. Furthermore, the study delineates emergent research fields and subject matters and traces the development of the subdiscipline’s conceptual framework and its main categories. Both cognitive and institutional aspects of social history’s current condition are analyzed (e.g. loss of leadership, the scholarly community lacking a ‘midpoint’ notwithstanding the numerous journals, associations, and old academic elite still persisting). These changes assessment is based on a cover-to-cover reading of a large body of literature on social history, which will make it possible to proceed from surface judgments to more thorough knowledge of what is happening to this discipline today.
The article, which is the second part of a block of two (the first article was published in the previous issue of the journal), presents an analysis of some of the challenges that Russian social policy currently face, based on the data from nationwide surveys. However, the first article was focused on systemic challenges, while in this article the subject of analysis is a few selective challenges affecting specific spheres of life in Russian society. Based on the empirical data of the Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, it is shown that one of the key challenges is the need to develop new framework for interactions between employers and employees; it is noted that the asymmetry of these relations has sharply increased during the last two economic crises. The situation with the public perception of the access to necessary medical care and its quality is analyzed; it is shown that these problems also become the important challenges for the state social policy. The challenges associated with decrease in investments in their own human potential and human potential of their children by the population, as well as housing deprivation of the population, the formation of a new underclass in rural areas, etc., are also analyzed. It is noted that further successful and sustainable development of Russia requires development of an adequate response not only to these, but also to many other challenges.
The article presents an analysis of some of the systemic challenges that Russian social policy currently face. It is shown that the functions of social policy in the modern world are much wider than those usually articulated in Russia, and the need to shift from social support to social management is emphasized. The situation with socio-economic inequalities is analyzed; it is shown that the problem of excessive and illegitimate inequalities becomes the most important challenge for the Russian state and its social policy. The significance of this problem is also recognized by the Russians themselves, who consider it even more important than the problem of poverty. Another important systemic challenge is decline in abilities of the population to solve its problems on its own (even with the seeming increase in incomes) due to the “de-farming of the peasantry” and decrease in the social resource of the population, especially among its most vulnerable groups, increase in the debt burden of the middle class, etc. It is emphasized that the further successful and sustainable development of Russia requires an adequate response not only to the challenges described in the article but also to many other systemic challenges.
Since mid-1980-s fashion on postmodern went beyond the boundaries of aesthetics and theory of literature. This topic became interesting for philosophy and sociology. The article is devoted to the relations of these two disciplines to postmodern. The author considers four positions inside social theory concerning postmodern. Firstly, social theorists which take “theory of postmodern” into consideration but in general don’t agree with the idea that Western society entered the situation of postmodernity. Secondly, social theorists who accept the idea of postmodern and try to develop it in different directions. Mostly, these are those who agree with the concept of postmodernity. Thirdly, social theorists who consider the possibility of applying postmodern ideas to social theory, they call themselves “postmodernists”. Fourthly, there are those, who consider postmodernism in a strictly sociological sense, i.e. they do research of what could be called “discourse of postmodern in sociology”. By 2000 adherents of modernity, adherents of postmodernity and adherents of postmodernism in social theory started to reject ideas about postmodernity/postmodernism. By 2000 postmodernism in social theory strangely died. This death could be called “strange” as despite the fact that this concept is still used, it no longer occupies the same central place in social theory as it was since the second half of the 1980-s and till the mid-1990s.
Socially responsible (ethical) consumption in Russia is only taking its first steps and is fairly fragmented. In most cases, consumers engage in practices of one particular sort, whether ethical purchasing, ethical boycotts or separate collection of waste. The article presents the data of a representative empirical study aiming to identify specific qualities of citizens participating in various socially responsible consumption practices as well as factors facilitating Russians’ engagement in the above practices. The article purports that market-oriented practices, such as ethical purchasing and boycotts, and nonmarket ones, such as separate collection of waste, are driven by different factors and relate to the sphere of civil society in different ways. The article concludes that differentiated strategies need to be implemented in this area by NGOs and management groups of various levels.
The article contains the critical examination of Grinbcrg Rubinstain's concept of economic sociodynamics and patronized goods from the position of liberal doctrines of the Austrian school. It reveals von Miscs theory of history, where ideas occupy the central place and interests are pro-derivatives from them. It is shown that the notion of "public interest" is a dominant public opinion, which, of course, cannot exist as something separate from the individuals. Public interest not necessary represents something positive and ensuring progress. The public interest may be aimed against it. And outside public opinion it simply does not exist. Patronized goods with the exception of pure public goods become not because they have need in such the state, but because the state and interest groups need to take care of them. The state constrains free entrepreneurship, which only can provide efficient delivery of the most of the patronized goods. And the state is ineffective supplier of these goods. In general social liberalism from the perspective of the Austrian economic theory is presented as a new wave of statism.
The theme of social liberalism is examined in the light of the quality of the state. One thing is a state that stands above society. The other – a state based on an agreement with society and, therefore, requiring the adoption of social policies, based on the alignment of interests of different groups. In Russia, there is a state of the ? rst type, but the society is clearly unhappy about this and increasingly makes demands for transformation of the state. In the methodology of the social sciences as the author believes it is important to study the extent to which the state is implementing a “common interest” and how it is re?ected in the analytical and mathematical models describing the Russian society