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.
A book written by American psychologist Jean M. Twenge iGen. Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood—and What That Means for the Rest of Us describes the change in values, identity and behavior of adolescents born during the period from 1995 to 2012, the Internet Generation known as iGens. The book represents a good example of thorough data analysis, using the results of sociological surveys that originated in the 1960`s and covering opinions of more than 11 million Americans. Guided by such extensive empirical material, the author infers that adolescents have begun to grow up more slowly, plunge into the virtual world at the expense of reality, presume upon new media, communicate less, and show less interest in news. All that led to a degradation of knowledge and skills, a lack of sophistication, the growth of mental disorders, a lack of self-confidence, angst, and the spread of perverse attitudes towards education, work, family and money. The main reasons for such fundamental changes lie in the safer environment of iGens’ childhoods as well as their greater involvement in digital technologies and information. Accustomed to being supervised externally, iGens internally dive into virtual reality, lose interest in extracting knowledge themselves (reducing their ability to overcome obstacles or desire to take risks), and receive much less real experience. iGens are a few times less likely to meet friends, go on dates, get professional experience, drive a car, drink alcohol, read books, or keep up on the news than representatives of generations X and Y. At the same time, iGens spend twice as much time on the Internet than millennials. Uncontrollably and indiscriminately absorbing primitive and chaotic information, modern adolescents lose their integrity. This is evidenced by the growth of anxiety, mental disorders, and suicides. The example of American teenagers shows that people might lose the very abilities for which the technologies have been created (e. g. interpersonal communication, critical thinking, information awareness, creativity, personal growth, safety, etc.)..
Equipping students with employability skills has become a novel mission of universities since the late XX century. Discussion on how to make students more job-ready has appeared as a core of the education policy agenda. The roots of job readiness agenda in higher education (HE) are mostly studied through the lens of changes in the HE sector and are regarded as a result of massification and vocationalisation of HE. But these explanations only implicitly consider labour market changes that triggered employability agenda. This paper challenges job readiness agenda in higher education, especially the pressure being put on HE institutions that are expected to fit students to employer’s needs. In order to find grounds and justification of the employability agenda, I study its cornerstone theses through the lens of labour market theories. The research reveals that not all of these theses are well-grounded in labour market theories and empirics. On the one hand, employability narrative is justified by decreased signalling function of education credentials and increasing demand for universal skills and update of technical skills. On the other hand, alarmism of skill deficit and skill shortage that pushes pressure of HE doesn't fully match theories and empirical evidence. The most relevant concept of employability and job readiness could be elaborated in the framework of universal competencies or 21st-century skills. Being job-ready means being ready for flexible career and lifelong learning instead of being fitted to the short-term requirements. This conceptual framework establishes shared responsibility for developing skills and managing skill gaps between individuals, employers and educational institutions.
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.
News media tend to reflect voices in the political establishment while cov-ering international events. Is it still true when almost half of the national audience speak the language of the country featured in the coverage? In this paper, we present an analysis of 19.5k news messages collected from Russian-language Ukrainian news outlets covering the 2018 presidential elections in Russia. Using a mixed-method approach (topic modeling and qualitative reading), we identify key topics and stories and evaluate the ex-tent of personalization in the election coverage. We find three central angles: the focus on polls and election results, election preparations in Crimea, and Vladimir Putin’s victory. The elections are linked predominantly to Crimean issues through the date of the elections, each candidate’s stance on the sub-ject, the election management in the region, and other countries’ reactions to the results. Such coverage has an accusatory bias; it stresses the legal status of the Crimean referendum and the Russian authorities’ actions and reports the pressures on locals by authorities, especially the Crimean Tatars. Not linked directly to Crimea, other angles are less emotionally charged. Political personalization of the discussion has a contradictory nature. On one hand, the overwhelming majority of the messages mention public figures. On the other hand, the coverage of the figures is limited and omits their traits. More-over, at times, public figures are replaced by non-personalized symbols (e.g., Kremlin, Russian invaders). However, if the former’s coverage is predomi-nantly neutral, the latter’s coverage is more prone to negative and loaded statements.
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.