In this study, we aim to provide a statistical portrait of employment in the cultural field with regard to occupations on the Russian labor mar- ket. The data from the ‘Comprehensive Monitoring of Living Condi- tions’ are used to illustrate the main differences in the socio-demograph- ic and occupational characteristics of culturally employed respondents and other professional groups. Additionally, the most relevant factors that may have an impact on individuals’ probability to be cultural work- ers are analyzed.
Our study is based on the theoretical frameworks of U. Beck, R. Florida, J. Urry, and Z. Bauman. We also consider the possible Soviet legacy of the contemporary Russian culture, which may interconnect with labor conditions in this field, using S. Fitzpatrick’s works. We also provide an overview of other relevant studies.
Our findings show that a larger number of cultural workers among the respondents are librarians, archivists, teachers of music and art schools, linguists, museum workers, journalists, and writers. The results on the statistical portrait display that on average, the cultural workers are highly educated married women in their forties or older who live pre- dominantly in the largest regions of the Russian Federation (Moscow and Moscow region, St. Petersburg). Almost three-quarters of the group have relevant education. They are mostly regular full-time employees with a daytime work schedule. We have also found that the most influential factors for becoming cultural workers are the region of residence and relevant professional education.
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.
The paper describes an experiment aimed at creating a categorical and interactive stratification schema for the population of a major Russian city (St. Petersburg). We used data on the friendship ties of 3,200 adults to create a network of ties among occupations. We then used the Louvaine community detection algorithm to identify six clusters. The clusterization obtained distinguished between skilled manual, routine non-manual, and professional occupations, demonstrating that close social ties are more likely to be found within, rather than between, their boundaries. However, in contrast to Goldthorpe’s class schema, the algorithm also identified cleavages between sectors of professional occupations (pedagogical/artistic, clerical, etc.) The boundaries between such groups of occupations are reproduced inter-generationally, even in the absence of considerable economic inequality between them. We demonstrate that clusters of occupations differ in their lifestyles and consumption patterns (e.g. consumption of highbrow culture), even when controlling for age, gender, and education. We interpret the clusterization as evidence of the existence of milieus confined within institutional barriers of social sectors. Such milieus, rather than classes, serve as the building blocks of social structure, defined through intensity of interaction or lifestyles.
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.
Migration is an important and rapidly growing phenomenon in the modern world. Many countries are facing problems with integration and adaption of migrants to new living conditions. Subjective well-being (SWB) can be considered as an indicator of how successfully migrants are adapted and integrated into the host society. Levels of migrants’ SWB are often determined by the same factors as for other people—good health, high salary, employment and youth make them happier. Nonetheless, migrants’ decision to migrate is often led by economic motives, which leads them to overvalue economic characteristics of countries and regions of destination and undervalue non-economic factors. This paper aims to estimate the effects of the economic prosperity (measured by gross regional product) and social capital of Russian regions (measured by general social trust and relative size of the community of the migrant’s compatriots) on the life satisfaction of migrants. In addition, we analyze possible effect of the inclusion of the migrants’ country of origin into Eurasian Customs Union. To answer the proposed questions we employed data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey—Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) and statistics provided by Russian Federal State Statistics Service. The main method of analysis is a cross-classified multilevel linear regression modeling. The results show that the economic performance of a region has no effect on the life satisfaction of a migrant. It appears that social factors play a greater role—the effects of general social trust and the relative size of the community of a migrant’s compatriots in a region are positive and statistically significant. We found that inclusion of the country of migrants’ origin into the Eurasian Customs Union positively and significantly affects the life satisfaction of migrants. We associate this effect with a decrease in the economic and psychological costs of migration.
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.
What is the reason for the low commercialization of high-tech innovations in Russia? Given the Russian engineers’ high scores on initiative, creativity, and technical competence, why is there no successful launch of manufactured—often amazing—inventions on domestic and international markets? Does Russia have a specific way of development in the sphere of high technologies? The research team of sociologists from the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP)—Olga Bychkova, Boris Gladarev, Oleg Harkhordin, and Zhanna Tsinman—offer answers to these questions in their book, Sci-Fi Worlds of Russian Hi-Tech. Based on a large set of in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs from Russia, as well as Finland, Taiwan, and South Korea, the authors’ focus is not on institutions but on the technopreneurs themselves, who update the hightech markets on their daily practices, ways of social interaction, worldviews, interactions with developers, technical prototypes, and themselves. Employing the concepts from the theory of practice and science and technology studies (STS), the authors have attempted to re-examine the life worlds of Russian technopreneurs and to align their individual narratives with the sociocultural context in which the daily life of developers is embedded. The researchers show the way that engineers live, in which value categories make sense of their work and daily practices, and how it may determine the technological development of the Russian economy and the whole society at the macro level.
The book is filled with detailed and thorough descriptions of methodology and fieldwork, rich and illustrative quotations from the narratives of innovators, and the justification for the theoretical framework of the study. It is addressed to a wide readership and will be useful for sociologists, including those interested in research on science and technology, and for the general public who strives to open up the daily life of those whose works try to “crack the laws of the universe.”