Handbook on Social Stratification in the BRIC Countries: Change and Perspective
Along with the fast growing economy, the term «BRICs» was coined to represent the newly emerging countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China. The enhanced economy in these countries has largely improved peoples life; at the same time, it has also strongly influenced the transformation of social structure, norms and values. However, as the worlds attention centers on their economic development at the micro level, the social changes at the micro level have often been neglected, and a specific comparative study of these four countries is even more rare. This handbooks contributing authors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratification, with topics covering the main social classes, the inequality of education and income, and the different styles of consumption as well as the class consciousness and values. Under every topic, it gathers articles from authors of each country. Such a comparative study could not only help us achieve a better understanding of the economic growth and social development in these countries, but also lead us to unveil the mystery of how these emerging powers with dramatic differences in history, geography, culture, language, religion and politics could share a common will and take joint action. In general, the handbook takes a unique perspective to show readers that it is the profound social structural changes in these countries that determine their future, and to a large extent, will shape the socio-economic landscape of the future world.
The purpose of this study was to investigate consumption patterns and their association with the lifestyle characteristics of Russian households. The research based on the data of Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey – HSE (RLMS–HSE) was collected between 1992 and 2008. Over this period total household expenditure on food increased by 40%, while total expenditure on durables more than tripled. Consequently, the share of food expenditure dropped from 72.6% to 45% whereas the non-food expenditure share grew up from 27.4% to 55%. By 2008 the gap in consumption standards between rich and poor households had widened since well off families completely dominated in volume of non-food expenditure, services and leisure expenditure and savings. Meanwhile we can state that consumption depended heavily not only on a total household income but also on a household type and on the phase of its life circle, for example, the data clearly show that young families, single-parent families and pensioners saved up less than other families as their expenses constantly exceeded their incomes in 2008. Moreover, the level of durables consumption varied over the type of settlement. The factor analysis (the method of Principal components, Varimax rotation with Kaiser Normalization) let us define the groups of durables that differentiate the households by consumption patterns. These groups are likely to associate with highly “modernised” urban lifestyle, moderately “modernised” lifestyle, and rural lifestyle.
This handbook's contributing autors are leading sociologists in the four countries. They fill the gap in existing literature and examine specifically the changes in each society from the perspective of social stratifications.