The study deals with e-markets for self-employed professionals (freelancers). These highly competitive markets emerge in a still weakly regulated cyberspace with virtual interactions. However, market ties between freelancers and their clients are not established as arm's-length but largely as embedded ties. Social capital of freelancers becomes an effective instrument for fi nding the clients, raising earned income and reducing the moral hazards of opportunism. Empirical data are collected from an online standardized survey of more than 8 thousand freelancers, conducted by the authors in December 2008 at Free-lance.ru.
The present paper is aimed at considering the evolution of human capital theory. Drawing on the wide range of classical and recent studies, the author shows the link between changes in economies of industrially developed countries and the development of the human capital theory revealed in the expanded list of indicators measuring human capital. The author proposes a periodization of the human capital theory suggesting 5 phases: (1) the pre-industrial phase (up to the seventeenth century); (2) the phase of mass education (the nineteenth through the rst half of the twentieth century); (3) the late industrial period (1960s–1970s, the period when the core of the human capital theory was established); (4) the post-industrial period I (1980s–2000s); and (5) the post-industrial stage II or contemporary period (2000s–2010s). The study reassesses narrow interpretations, which still widely exist among applied economists. Based on the findings of the human development studies, the author argues for a broader list of indicators of human capital, and, specifically, considers human capital through the lens of national development; moreover, this coincides with the core of the given theory. It is shown that the traditional interpretation of human capital, known as years of schooling and training, does not represent the current situation in the economy, and can be extremely harmful to society if it is adopted as the basis of public policy oriented to the formation and growth of society. The present study can be useful to both economists and sociologists focusing on the indicators of human capital and its contribution to the socioeconomic development of a modern society.
The paper codifies the theoretical perspectives in sociology of organizations related to studies in organizational boundaries. Four methods for conceptualizing organizational boundaries are identified, depending on a key metaphor which each method proposes. The presented metaphors include (1) boundary as membrane (flap); (2) boundary as convention; (3) boundary as interface; (4) boundary as forefront. In addition, the paper discusses the organizational perspectives’ general methodological drawbacks in studying organizational boundaries.
Starting with classical theoretical works on the nature of addictive goods, an enormous amount of empirical research about determinants of propensity to consume alcohol and tobacco is published annually based on data from different countries. We chose alcohol and tobacco among other addictive goods because of their high prevalence, legality in the vast majority of countries and the possibility of controlled consumption. In many countries and at the world level, measures are being developed to reduce the consumption of these products, or at least to make more "responsible consumption" (this refers more to alcohol). Although in recent years, the share of drinkers and smokers in Russia has fallen, it is still among the leaders in both alcohol and tobacco consumption. Despite government measures aimed at reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, there is no certainty that the observed tendency is the result of this policy, and not of other factors, for example, the effect of a cohort or a change in values towards a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, despite the existing reviews devoted to addictive behaviour, we consider it important to return to systematizing explanations for the causes and determinants of the demand for addictive goods. The specificity of this paper is also that we consider the factors affecting both alcohol and tobacco consumption, although they traditionally considered separately. However, both tobacco and alcohol are so-called addictive goods, therefore, the economic and sociological concepts that explain commitment to them are the same. Empirical studies also use a similar type of models. This review shows similar patterns of demand for alcohol and tobacco and social and economic determinants. The factors of demand for these goods could be divided into economic, individual, socio-cultural and related to the external environment (as well as biological factors that are not considered in this paper). The Russian data primarily confirm the theoretical assumptions and empirical results obtained for other countries. It could be concluded that a certain characteristic of Russian consumers is a weaker effect of prices on demand for these goods.
The author explores the discussion about political consumerism in modern society and offers a broader approach to the politics of consumption from a historical perspective. After the cultural turn in consumption studies, the development of political consumerism as a new analytical framework has become a productive step forward for deeper understanding of consumption and the notion of the consumer. In particular, this paper reviews the main reasons for the emergence of an economic understanding of consumption and how this understanding has led to an opposition between politics and consumption. The theory of political consumerism softened the antagonis- tic relations between the passive and self-interested consumer and the ac- tive citizen who cares about social prosperity. According to this approach,
consumption is a new creative form of political participation during the societal shift to more post-materialist values and increasing demand for individual autonomy. Consumers use markets as an alternative arena for political action, where their purchasing power becomes a tool for restoring social justice without government intervention. However, the author argues that the theory of political consumerism is too linear and too narrow a framework for analyzing the variety involved in the politics of consumption. The politics of consumption re ect the dynamics of the relationship between the state and its citizens. The notion of the consumer is shaped not only by the market economy, but also by the directive power and interests of the state. Based on historical evidence from different countries, this paper shows the proliferation of genealogies of consumerist policy and the understandings of the citizenship norms represented by consumers.
The paper reviews the state-of-the-art in relationship marketing and new economic sociology. The author pays attention to the closeness of both perspectives which have common roots (Durkheimian sociology, economic anthropology, sociology of law, social exchange theory) and common research interests (trust, commitment, interdependency, shared values, power asymmetry, adaptation, and mutual contentment). Despite the intersections, relationship marketing and new economic sociology appear to have been developing in parallel worlds, implying that these disciplines remain disconnected and persistently ignore each other’s accomplishments.This is conditioned by several reasons. Firstly, economic sociologists are inspired by the investigation of peculiar and peripheral types of markets, while marketing scholars usually study the“standard markets”. Secondly, relationship marketing defines its subject matter as exchange relationships per se. In contrast with relationship marketing, new economic sociology has a much wider scope of interests. Thirdly, relationship marketing focuses on ongoing relationships while new economic sociology concentrates on relations that are beyond the market exchange per se. Finally, marketing scholars typically prioritize formal contractual relationships, whereas economic sociologists devote more attention to informal, interpersonal relationships. The author comes to the conclusion that, if specialists in relationship marketing and new economic sociologists could overcome the divide, their perspectives would benefit greatly, specifically in developing their market theories.