The paper is devoted to instrumental conceptualization of corruption, including classification of its forms and definition of the institutional mechanism. It proposes an analysis of conceptual approaches to corruption and demonstrates that the major aspects of normative approach are as follows: value judgment of corruption as an unambiguously negative phenomenon; associating corruption with contempt of the law or violation of moral and ethical standards; consideration of corruption as a deviant behavior. The author emphasizes challenging issues and ambiguity of this approach. The rationalist approach to corruption, including the economic approach, does not address value judgments or various norms and standards, but describes it in terms of functional assessment of its symptoms and consequences. The paper counters the claim that corruption fulfils some positive functions such as the function of deregulation and overcoming bureaucratic barriers. The paper reveals a generalized mechanism of corruption: exceeding authority and violating the official powers and duties regulations, including code of conduct and ethical standards, and (or) social behavioral, moral, and ethical norms, an official of an administrative organization illegitimately distributes and uses resources of the organization to gain personal or group benefits, not to implement the functions and objectives of the organization. The author proposes a new definition of the term “political corruption” and describes an hierarchy system of types of political and economic corruption, where the “state capture” is at the top. The author also determinates the institutional mechanism of corruption in the sphere of public power, the essence of which lies in the various types of abuse of its resources. While conceptualizing corruption in public policy in an instrumental way, it is defined as an abuse, misuse of public power resources by a public official not for implementing functions of the state or providing social progress, but for obtaining undue preferences or deriving tangible or intangible personal or group benefits, including gaining advantages in favor of third parties.
The article analyzes blogs as a source of collectively generated opinions. The aim is to find out responsibility ascriptions by lay people in case of terrorist attack by studying blogs. Content analysis of blog posts generated in four-day period after Domodedovo airport (Russia) terrorist attack in January 2011 was conducted. Responsibility for the attack is obviously ascribed mainly to institutional (power structures), rather than to individual terrorist or collective (religious fundamentalists) actors. Blogs do not replace traditional media still playing significant role for blogs themselves as a source of factual judgment-free information. Theoretical significance of results obtained amounts to the fact that in a considerable number of cases the actor is accused without specifying his action of commission or omission. Besides, distinction between types of involvement is very important: bloggers blame actors more often for omission than for commission.
A Neo-tribe is one of the fluid communities in modern societies exemplified by consumer
groups. The article analyses the veg-community in Saint-Petersburg and discusses the boundaries
of this urban fluid community. The case study was held in Saint-Petersburg. The «cultural food
repertoire» notion was used to describe the veg-community. Based on the analysis of veg-repertoires,
the boundaries of the community were demarcated through the definition of «close ones», «others»
and «aliens». The article presents four types of veg-nutrition cultural repertoire: animal care, healthy
lifestyle, religious development and self-development. Omnivores included in the practice of ethical
consumption are defined as «others» by members of the veg-community. And omnivorous, hedonistic-
oriented consumption is seen as «alien». The analysis suggests that communities formed among young
people have a critical consumption basis.
Notes on School of Social Network Analysis of the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia).
The paper is an attempt to consider the contemporary changes in the global higher education known as the establishing of ‘academic capitalism’ from the point of view of Marxian’ theory reflected in ‘Capital’ and related economic manuscripts. It is shown that the main actor of the academic capitalism the so-called third generation university is de facto a big capitalist corporation; its formation is a sign of a shift from ‘formal’ to ‘real subsumtion’ of academic labor under the capital (in Marx’ terms) in a knowledge based economy. Its most important features are as follows: the formation of a cooperation based academic labor power used by modern universities as its tool; the cooperation itself is becoming a self-sustaining specie confronting the academics; the knowledge itself produced by academic laborers is becoming a tool not of members of the university, but of capital itself. Considering the Russian higher education, the author points out that here the process of real subsuming of academics under the capital is less expressed, most of Russian higher educational institutions are starving merely from the Soviet heritage than from the transformation into the area platform of ‘academic capitalism’. Thus, the paper pledges for some approaches which might help Russian universities to adapt for modern development trends in higher education.
"March theses on sociology of equality and inequality" (by Anatoly Gofman) offers a look on the dichotomic state of everyday and academic views on these crucial societal issues - in form of 20 theses. The dichotomy, so author, is justified in case of everyday consciousness, while scholarly studies should view it in a close relationship, interdependence and interaction, like a continuum. Absolute and relative equality (inequality) has to be differentiated, as well as respective values and ideals have to be contrasted with real factual conditions. Reviewing historicity of the issue author formulates an assumption that instead of equality and inequality, equalities and inequalities have to be addressed in academic discourse. Final theses relate the issue to current Russian conditions linking overall theoretical conclusions to practices of economic and social policies.
Characteristic features of behavior of mothers on Russian labor market are considered. The epochs in focus consist of the 1990-s and relative "capitalist staility" of the 2000s. The data also allows for some retrospective evaluations concerning how women combined motherhood and work in previous epochs, startinf from the 1940s. Main results consist in the finding that in the 1990s and 2000s motherhood happened in the condition of gradually weakening institutional support, while personal responsibility was increasing. Need for informal large family and other social support was becoming more and more welcomed, but these ties did not reinforce to the degree, required by weakening institutions. Mothers orientation at participation in labor marked was always strong and stable, independently on their views concerning woman role in the family and society. Mothers' adaptation to always changing conditions was unavoidably flexible and required intense efforts in combining home and paid work.
The publication is devoted to international interactions of the RAS Institute of sociology celebrating in 2018 its 50th anniversary. Interviews with Z.T. Golenkova and V.A. Mansurov, the oldest scholars of the Institute, responsible for organizing these interactions for a long time, are presented. Interviews contain memories and assessments of different periods, forms and practices of international academic cooperation.