This book, edited by N. Bandelj, F. Wherry, and V. Zelizer, comprises a series of articles united in a collective monograph; it opens the reader to a multilateral view of the nature of money as a system of meanings and signs, and clarifies the mechanisms of the formation and functioning of financial flows and institutions. Trends associated with the active dissemination of new forms of money that are not tied to a specific financial system, as well as the expanding practice of the consumption of goods and services related to issues of morality and ethics, are becoming relevant. The authors were tasked with revising the conceptual framework for the study of money, and the main goal was to show the principles of the functioning of money in the financial system and, to a greater extent, in the system of social relations. In the book, the conceptual framework is examined in five sections, each of which provides sociological, cultural, anthropological, and historical perspectives. The authors of 14 chapters illustrate the connection of their theses with the approach of Viviana Zelizer, as outlined in a number of her famous works, and the analysis of money itself is based on the subject of the fungibility of mediums, functions, and meanings (earmarking) of monetary units, the understanding of financial accounting by people themselves (mental accounting), and the influence of the state on this process. This review aims to define the logic of the presentation of the material in the book in order to better understand the theoretical and empirical principles set forth in the chapters.
The goal of the paper is to identify the relationship between participation in professional training financed by the employer and its non-economic effects: subjective control and job satisfaction (including satisfaction with pay and with professional growth opportunities). According to the human capital theory, par- ticipation in professional training accumulates both specific and general hu- man capital; workers develop their skills and become more flexible in the labor market. We test the hypothesis that participation in professional training will be positively interrelated with employees’ subjective control and job satisfaction. The empirical base of the study is formed by the Russian Longitudinal House- hold Monitoring Survey (RLMS—HSE), waves 19 and 20 (2010 and 2011). The analysis identified positive effects only in the case of subjective control, but not for job satisfaction. This partially supports our hypothesis. The results show that workers who participated in professional training, compared to the workers who did not, will have a higher level of subjective control, i.e., work- ers feel more in control of their circumstances at work and in life. However, no effect of training was found in the case of job satisfaction. A possible reason is that training is not sufficiently integrated in the short career structures of low- or middle-skill jobs. Therefore, participation in professional training does not widen professional mobility opportunities in this labor market segment and thus is not associated with higher job satisfaction.
The article reviews main statements of the influential institutional perspectives, including new institutional economic theory presented by O. Williamson and D. North; new institutionalism in economic sociology developed by organizational theorists (P. DiMaggio, W. Powell, etc.) and sociologists of markets (M. Granovetter, N. Fligstein, etc.) in the USA; and economics of conventions (L. Boltanski and L. Thevenout) in Europe. This analytical review includes a discussion of major similarities and differences of new institutional approaches in economics and sociology
The XVII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development was held from April 19 to 22, 2016, at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow with support of the World Bank. For the first time, the issue of education opportunities were discussed in a separate section on the Role of Education in the Reproduction and Reduction of Social Inequalities. The topic brought together Russian, British, Chinese, American, and European scholars. Over three days, the section hosted thematic sessions, presentations of applied and theoretical research, and panel discussions. Discussions highlighted several main aspects, including comparative cross-national research on the effects of educational opportunities, social policy, studies of informal education, and further research.
The keynote speakers of the section were C. Aedo (World Bank), D. Alexandrov (HSE), A. Asmolov (FIRO), P. Bianchi (University of Ferrara), M. Carnoy (Stanford University), M. Feuer (The George Washington University), I. Froumin (HSE), L. Gortazar (World Bank), M. Jackson (Stanford University), N. Karmaeva (HSE), D. Konstantinovskiy (Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences), S. Kosaretsky (HSE), B. Kupriyanov (HSE), H. Levin (Columbia University), R. Murnane (Harvard Graduate School of Education), E. Pavlenko (HSE), A. Sidorkin (HSE), D. Semenov (HSE), V. Sobkin (Russian Academy of Education), K. Szafraniec (Nicolaus Copernicus University), A. Zakharov (HSE).
Today it makes little sense to ask a question, why social scholars are interested in China’s economy as far as the answer is obvious. The growth rate of Chinese economy and duration of its growth period are stunning. It is likely that in the nearest future China will outrun USA in terms of GDP and become the largest economy in the world. Moreover, China has made a huge progress in GDP per capita. But this is not the only reason for the great interest in China. Chinese communist party is still in power. By the standards of the Western democracies, China remains to be an authoritarian state. Taken together, those statements make a paradox: how could communists produce so huge economic growth? Recent history of socialist countries seems to show that it is impossible. Though the Soviet Union sometimes demonstrated fast growth, it couldn’t keep the pace for a long period. In Chinese case, we face a more fundamental phenomenon than just mobilization of a country in order to achieve vital objectives (usually with high costs). “Capitalism from Below: Markets and Institutional Change in China” by Viktor Nee and Sonja Opper suggests the answer for this question.
This book by three prominent researchers of communities' cultures and the technological impact on the society includes a conversation in the title and takes it seriously. The text is a compilation of authors’ talks about applying the definition of participatory culture to the analysis of diverse spheres of social life and is an implicit call to join the conversation, argue for theses and offer your own at the same time. Each author unsurprisingly has his or her own interpretation of the major definition of participatory culture, but all of them feel deeply involved in their research subject, which M. Weber has warned against: All three scientists identify themselves as former or present natives of the participatory culture. The deep emotional involvement in the research subject leaves a trace and, in our view, complements the analysis. Hence the authors have not only made fruitful (almost autobiographical) research into participatory culture but also have made very useful social recommendations about the efficient and cautious application of it in the educational sphere and resolution of the intergenerational conflicts and have called on researchers generally not to marginalize the representatives of participatory cultures’ communities. Of course, promotion of democratizing, educational and other positive roles of the participatory culture is important and very practical. Alongside its analysis of participatory cultures the book includes an updated look at the traditional definitions of social groups, social networks and forms of capital. In this review, the author tries to systematize scientists’ points of view on the most prominent themes highlighted in the book. Moreover we had the opportunity to join the conversation with these three eminent scientists and mentally visit (and present to the reader) the living room of Henry Jenkins, which was the site of most of the conversations in the book.
The paper gives a review of the existing theories and empirical research devoted to the determinants of wage differences for mothers and non-mothers. The paper is aimed at discussing the advantages and disadvantages of the theoretical approaches in explanation of the mother wage penalty in Russia and other countries. The authors try to explain the wage gap by using three theoretical concepts: human capital theory, theory for compensating differences, and discrimination theory. Relying on the previous research results the authors conclude that wage discrimination does exist for mothers in Russia as well as in other countries like Germany,
the UK and the USA.
This article analyzes how and why direct selling organizations (DSOs), or network companies, or multi-level marketing (MLM) companies can be counted among informal healthcare providers. The paper is based on the results of a qualitative field study conducted in 2013 in the Perm region as part of a larger project on the description of informal healthcare in Russia. The authors used semi-structured interviews with salespeople and observations of their workplaces, as well as interviews with doctors and local residents. Although network marketing of health products in Russia is not widely practiced, it demonstrates vitality in adverse conditions. Unlike many other countries, Russia’s main players are domestic companies that have successfully mastered imported direct selling technologies. The research reveals that these DSOs mimic healthcare institutions by not only medicalizing their products but also providing participants a diagnosis, medical advice, complementary and alternative medicine services, as well as education and promotion of healthy lifestyles. The salespeople’s self-presentation is ambiguous: They criticize official healthcare but demonstrate loyalty to the conventional biomedical model at the same time. This medical mimicry can be considered the side effect of marketing efforts to stimulate sales, the result of the DSOs’ policy to attract salespeople, the manifestation of mimetic isomorphism, and the result of the organizational specificity of DSOs, that is, expansion in the private sphere of members’ lives, including healthcare. In our opinion, none of these reasons is an acceptable explanation, and further work in this direction is necessary to understand informal healthcare markets.