This article focuses on issues such as the emergence and existence of a collective consciousness among the Soviet engineering/technical intellectuals during the period of real socialism, based on knowledge of the past embodied in the memories of those who represent this group. The analysis utilizes E. Durkheim’s ideas about collective consciousness. This man of science developed the concept of collective or common consciousness, tying it to the idea of “organic solidarity”, which can be interpreted as the ethos of a certain social group, as well as knowledge about social reality and about the place which a certain group occupies within it, with said knowledge producing collective identity. This article attempts to reconstruct certain elements of the consciousness of the Soviet engineering/technical intellectuals group based on analyzing the remaining memories of its representatives, as well as the ETW (engineering technical workers) discourse concept proposed by M. Lipovitsky, which characterizes forms of group consciousness among the said group. The whole point of the ETW discourse, according to M. Lipovitsky, is spontaneous positivism and progressism, confidence in the power of facts, as well as denying complicated polyphonic prisms when it comes to cultivating a mock form of irony given a lack of critical self-reflection. This work examines the issues of the social and professional status of the group of Soviet engineering/technical intellectuals, as well as its position in the social structure of Soviet society. In order to accomplish this, studies by Soviet sociologists, dedicated to engineering personnel, are utilized. It is stated that the professionalism of engineering/technical intellectuals was based on the level of education that they received, as well as the state’s need for a technocratic class, which would make the USSR competitive in defense and civil spheres. The professional independence of various sub-groups of the engineering/technical intellectuals was not equal, and it depended on the industrial affiliation of the organization where certain specialists were at work. Also discussed are certain professional culture characteristics of this group, including technocratic thinking, rationalism, and a critical outlook on the late Soviet period. It is shown that the memories of Soviet engineers can somewhat reveal the life and professional world of this group, they do not, however, indicate the existence of several different professional environments and forms of collective consciousness within it, which are still waiting for their researchers. Search and discussion is the purpose of this text.
The article is devoted to the issue of appearing of certain market services that replace or complete those function that have traditionally been fulfilled by the family itself. The paper analyses scientific and popular articles, forums and blogs as well as internet service supply for parenthood and childrearing with the purpose of identifying the examples of paid help to the family from the external expects and the ways of motivating parents to receive this kind of help. Creating motivation to handing over parenting and childcare functions to external experts and availability of commercial supply resources lead to appearing of the market of family services abroad and in Russia. The author makes an attempt to reveal and evaluate new, non-existent before or different from current paid services aimed at families as a target consumer, which lead to commercializing of family functions and outsourcing of traditional parental practices to external experts.
So far there have been very few studies of social entrepreneurship in Russia. More specifically, the social implications of this phenomenon have never been analyzed. This makes it difficult for experts to agree which particular enterprises could be described as social. In the meanwhile, agreement on this matter is absolutely necessary, since financial support projects, such as grants or preferential loans, need clearly defined criteria. This article singles out two key features of a social enterprise: innovation and social character. Innovation in this context implies not only the use of groundbreaking business ideas and the introduction of technical, technological, or management know-how, but also the transformation of rules and practices that govern the lifestyle of the social group involved in the enterprise’s operations. The social character of the enterprise is determined by the following: first of all, an enterprise must have its own social and cultural project, i.e. a business strategy that is aimed at meeting a certain social goal. On the one hand, it means that the enterprise is basing its development on the creative potential of its employees as the main driver of its growth and competitiveness. On the other hand, it also means that the enterprise is striving to carry out a certain mission, and has created a new system of values and a new communication environment, by promoting new ways of working together and rendering social services. We can distinguish several different types of these social projects. Secondly, a social enterprise must have a cultural concept of interacting with its personnel. We classify these concepts depending on whether the employers base their recruitment choices on operational functions or give greater priority to an employee as a person, gearing the function to his or her capabilities and interests. And thirdly, a social enterprise must be involved in social networking. This article describes the networks that surround a social enterprise. The study helps us arrive at the conclusion that a cooperative strategy involves networking capitalization – i.e. the use of the partner’s capabilities to meet the enterprise’s goals, in a way that allows the partner to benefit as well.
In the article, based on the data of the all-Russian representative sociological survey conducted in 2018 by the Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the analysis of Russians' views on the social structure of modern Russian society and social inequalities characterizing it is presented.
It is shown that inequalities currently areperceived by the population as a serious problem, and during the years of the last crisis this problem didnot receded into the background, but has become even more acute. It is demonstrated that the potential for using inequalities as a productivity incentive is gradually diminishing, as in the past five years there has been a decline in tolerance of the population towards the foundations ofinequalities that previously were considered legitimate, aswell as towards different non-monetary inequalities based on income inequality. In the existing institutional conditions, inequalities are generally regarded by the population as unfair. The gap between the expectations of population and the social reality is indicated by the observed differences between the "ideal" and "real" models of social structure of modern Russian society in the assessments of Russians. All this leads to a growing request from population for "leveling" and changing the model of the social structure of society.
On the other hand, even with the negative dynamics observed in recent years, the tolerance of the majority of Russians to legitimate inequalities, based on differences in qualifications, efforts and results, still dominates in Russian society, and this can allow the realization of productive, stimulating role of inequalities.
The request to reduce inequalities is made primarily to the state, which brings Russia closer to other European countries. However, in assessing the degree of success of how the government copes with this problem, the Russian population demonstrates most negative attitudes. This means that social inequalities represent a serious challenge for the state, since without the solution of this problem the stated goals of the "breakthrough" development of the country cannot be efficiently realized.
This article reveals the specifics of social and cultural deformations in the life world of Russian people in general, compared to similar deformations among the population of several eastern regions of the country. These are territories representative of the Ural (Tyumen Province), Western (Tomsk Province) and Eastern Siberia (Krasnoyarsk Region). Social fears recorded within the “Regional socio-cultural portrait” method (Center for the Study of Social and Cultural Change, the Institute of Philosophy of the RAS) are considered to be factors of life world deformation. This study was carried out in the entire country of Russia in 2015, in Tyumen and Tomsk Provinces in 2016, in the Krasnoyarsk Region – in 2014. Three essential characteristics of life world – which have not been previously evaluated within this particular context – were highlighted for analysis: control locus, temporal stability (degree of pessimism/optimism) and life satisfaction as one of the key parameters of its harmony. The differences between the life world of Russians in general and that of those who inhabit the country’s eastern regions are determined within the context of the aforementioned characteristics. It is revealed that fears in the face of social dangers have a considerable deforming effect on the population’s life world. Determined are two types of deformations: nationwide and regional. The first type includes fears while facing ecologic threats and oppression due to age and gender. The latter’s level is generally much higher than the equivalent values obtained in the country’s three eastern regions. Fears while facing other sorts of threats and dangers, which are highlighted in the study, are considered to be specific regional deforming factors. The following conclusion is made: social fears deform the control locus, the harmony and temporal stability of the life world of the entire country’s population to a considerably greater degree compared to respondents from Tyumen and Tomsk Provinces, as well as the Krasnoyarsk Region. Revealed is a certain distinctive “Ural-Siberian” regional specificity of life world deformation, namely the sense that superiors in the workplace represent one of the social institutions of government. It is assumed that such specifics can be explained by regional frontier peculiarities.
This article reveals that, during the last 15 years, drastic shifts have occurred in the subjective social structure of Russian society: the people for the most part no longer consider themselves to be “social outsiders”, while Russian society itself has become a society undoubtedly dominated by a subjective middle-class, albeit predominantly a lower middle-class. However, such a positive shift does not equal Russians being completely satisfied with the situation at hand when it comes to stratification, since their actual position in the status hierarchy is currently much lower not only than desired, but also lower than those status positions which they reckon they should be occupying in this hierarchy “in all fairness”. Russian people’s dissatisfaction is mostly a result of them considering opportunities for success and prosperity to be associated with the social, economic and cultural capital of one’s parents, as well as with various unlawful practices (such as corruption, bribery), not only with one’s hard work or quality education. These views seem to be stable over time, and to some extent they are similar to the views of German people. However, in the eyes of Russians various unlawful practices (primarily bribery) play a greater role when it comes to achieving success in life. In addition to that, one’s parents’ education, as well as one’s own education, hard work and ambition play a slightly less significant role (which is decreasing year after year) in Russia. This means that, as time passes, more Russian people are becoming convinced that a person’s personal efforts and goals are not a key factor in achieving life success and high status positions in Russian society. Statistical verification indicates that these views are objectively justified, since, according to the former, upper strata of Russian society are becoming increasingly more closed, with lower strata starting to close as well. High indexes of self-reproduction of opposing status groups within mass layers of the population, together with an increasing polarization of the population (primarily young people) – these are all dangerous tendencies in terms of their sociopolitical and economic consequences, which lead to authorities being delegitimized, as well as Russian people losing their motivation to achieve success in life through their own efforts.
This paper focuses on the problem of professional ethic agenda of sociological higher education in Russia. The article is based on the discourse analysis of sociological departments’ webpages (111 universities websites in total). It appears that the pages send numerous socialization messages addressed to university entrants enlightening them on sociological profession and its esprit de corps. The article also analyzes teachers’ assessments related to graduates’ future employment. The entire mass of data reveals specific and common values characteristic for the professional discourse of Russian sociologists.
The authors’ main focus is matters concerning the quality of the human capital of Russian professionals and managers, as well as how diverse the latter are in this respect and what sort of role human capital plays when it comes to differentiating Russian workers in general and professionals/managers in particular. It is revealed in the article that both professionals and managers are diverse groups, and highlighted is the fact that the quality of human capital of professionals and managers is quite low. Despite there being over one and a half times the people with higher education occupied in the Russian economy than there are jobs available for professionals, about a quarter of those employed in said positions are lacking higher education. Things are even worse when it comes to the managers. However, advanced training is uncommon for most of their subgroups. The main reason for this, as shown by the results of using Mincer’s formula, is the fact that Russian employers are not prepared to pay workers differentiated salaries which take into account the quality of their human capital. As a result Russian professionals and managers are increasingly less interested in expanding their knowledge. Another serious problem is inappropriate use of the knowledge the do have, since even among professionals nearly 60% are not occupied in their respective fields, not even in fields adjacent to their acquired specialties. The article also examines the role of human capital in the formation of two macro-classes of Russian society. For one of them (mainly comprised of workers) human capital is in no way a differentiating factor when it comes to occupying one professional position or another. As for the other one, the representatives of which can be attributed (from a standpoint of the specifics of their professional positions) to the middle-class, the quality of human capital plays an important role when it comes to a person joining one professional group or another. When devising a strategy for Russia’s socio-economic development, matters concerning the human capital of professionals and managers are especially important. Without it being of high quality, it is impossible to make a technological breakthrough, the purpose of which would be to lead Russia away from being stranded among nations with average income and help make the transition to a level which correlated with the modern reality of technological progress. Particularly professionals and managers, them traditionally being “locomotives” when it comes to economic development in modern societies, must become the key actors in such a breakthrough, they must be the ones to support it by means of constantly renewing and expanding their knowledge. However, are they actually capable of assuming this crucial role, and what is the quality of their human capital? This article is dedicated to finding the answers to these questions.
Presented in this article are the results of analyzing the main characteristics of general and specific human capital of the Russian working class. Based upon data from the “Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of the population’s economic welfare and health” for the year 2014, it is shown that qualitative changes took place in the beginning of the 1990’s when it came to workers receiving general secondary education, when a 9-year education cycle, which had become as standard for them, effectively eliminated the possibility for them opening a new career path further down the line. The results of this study also bring us to the conclusion that a general de-professionalization of the Russian working class had occurred, since older generations surpass young workers in terms of professional training, while finding a job based on the specialty received at an educational institution is quite a rare thing in this particular professional environment. Advanced training via additional educational programs among workers is more of an exception than a rule. Given these conditions, where the internet has found its way everywhere, and where we are exposed to ever growing opportunities for receiving knowledge at a distance – quite often for free – the working class has found itself to not be a part of these processes, due mostly to the fact that they lack the attitude for increasing the quality of their human capital. Furthermore, knowledge and qualification are not considered by the majority of Russian workers to be important components for succeeding in life, and even those who do strive towards increasing their human capital choose professional trajectories which are ineffective for this task. This article also shows that all factors associated with human capital in general do not significantly influence workers’ wages in any given field. In the end low quality of human capital among the majority of workers is in fact their own reaction to the behavior of their employers, and not only a consequence of their attitude towards their own education. So if employers and even the state are not interested in investing into the working class’ human capital, one should not expect them to aspire towards expanding their own knowledge and independently funding their own education, especially given their relatively low income.
This article examines peculiarities when it comes to the distribution of economic statuses among the working population of Russia, as well as the interconnections of said statuses with various factors which affect an individual’s economic prosperity. Presented is a method for structuring a certain index, the purpose of which is to measure objective parameters of the economic status of modern Russia’s working population. In developing this methodology the author adheres to the neo-Weberian tradition, assuming that an individual’s economic status consists of a set of objective indexes which can be measured quantitatively. In this case these characteristics are as follows: income, the possession of additional real estate aside from the main place of residence, as well as the possession of savings. It is shown that the economic status of the population’s majority has a clearly pronounced “norm”, which is relatively low-level, together with the fact that the possession of additional economic resources such as real estate tends to lower Russian people’s motivation when it comes to increasing their current level of income. Also presented is a series of conclusions which have to do with the specifics of the economic status of Russia’s working people from various educational and professional groups. A certain hypothesis is brought forward and validated, concerning the insignificant effect of educational resource and professional affiliation on the economic status of common Russians. Examined is the effect of employment form on economic status scale indexes, as well as peculiarities when it comes to the distribution of its parameters among age groups. The following conclusion is made: within each successive age cohort there is a decrease in the amount of workers with an economic status corresponding to the Russian “norm”, as well as the amount of those workers whose status exceeds said norm. The objective parameters of Russian people’s economic status are compared with their subjective evaluation of said status. Given the presence of a considerable discrepancy between them, the author comes to the conclusion that objective parameters are not consistent with subjective evaluation. Data from the 24th wave of the yearly RLMS-HSE survey, conducted at the end of 2015, was used as an empirical base for analysis.