Economy is embedded in ongoing concrete social networks, and economic processes are increasingly international in character. Three interrelated processes are crucial for setting the frame of analysis for this book: globalisation, development of post-industrial societies, and transformation of European post-socialist countries. Within this framework the main issues will be as follows: economies in transition - reliable patterns, imitation, local adaptation, cultural embeddedness; multiplicity of markets - commodification of life, new markets in old societies; economic behavior - households, micro-enterprises, local and global influences; and, contemporary polities i.e. states, the European Union and global corporations. The stress will be placed on actors, relations and institutions as the driving forces of the above described processes. The authors of this collection analyze, based on their empirical material, very interesting socio-economic issues. These are: ethical consumption from the perspective of the moral economy and its connection to political institutions in Europe (and particularly in Hungary); the cultural context of consumption, both in the case of social networks in Bangladesh and of counterfeited goods on the Russian market; the new and old, individual and organizational actors in transition economies, for instance in Poland and Croatia; the new approach to corporations as global actors, stressing their social responsibility; the dynamics of managerial practices in the example of Russia; the influence of EU funds and policies on the Polish SMEs market; the cultural embeddedness of economic behavior, in the case of Poles working in the Scottish market and of entrepreneurs in Damascus; the retirement policy in the fast aging societies of Spain and Poland; and, the emergence of the new markets, like that of health services, in Russia and that of the property market in Eastern and Central Europe.
This paper examines what influences Russian households‟ decisions to save and borrow. We use the 2008 data from the 17th round of the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE). Our results show that the determinants of saving and borrowing are not only those suggested by economic theory but also include psychological and sociological considerations: smarter respondents, who are satisfied with their lives and inclined to help other people, are more likely to save. Those who enjoy stable or improving financial conditions and/or are satisfied with them are more likely to save and less likely to borrow. Financial literacy, a factor cited by institutional theory as positive for both saving and borrowing from banks, lost its significance at the onset of the financial crisis. Household income, suggested by economic theory as a basis for choosing a financial strategy, was found to have much less influence on savings and to have a positive influence on borrowing, confirming the rationing theory rather than intertemporal choice theory. Surprisingly, the fear of job loss does not make people save more, contrary to the precautionary motive.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.