The Middle Class in Russian Society: Homogeneity or Heterogeneity?
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.
This paper represents an initial report on findings fro a study aimed at analyzing several key aspects of middle class development in the Russian regions, namely:
• Federal and regional government programs to stimulate the growth of the middle class (content, tools of implementation, effectiveness); • Behavioral strategies and economic behavior (consumption patterns, propensity to save, investment) of different sections of Russian middle class; • Middle class value orientation and political preferences (including preferences for democracy).
The selection of regions for our study was made after consultations with the leading Russian experts on regional problems: Irina Busygina, Leonid Smirniagin, Nikolai Petrov, and Rostislav Turovsky. Their expertise and readiness to help us significantly aided us in choosing our case studies. The criteria we used in selecting regions were the following:
• A relatively high level of urban development (this excludes backward regions); • Variation in the level of socio-economic development: region-donor versus region-recipient of federal financial assistance; • Political orientation of the regional government: democratic versus authoritarian.
We focus on one of these aspects of value theory that has remained relatively underexposed, namely the relation between individual social location and human values. Does one’s position in the social structure—indicated by socio-demographic variables such as age, gender, education and income—affect the values that one prioritizes? We pay special attention to the cross-cultural robustness of the relation between social location and values: Can similar patterns be detected in various European countries? Or do cross-national differences in the relation between structure and values depend on elements of the national context?
We depart from Schwartz’ (1992, 1994, 2006) theory of human values, and make use of the value scale included in the European Social Survey (ESS). We believe that this study adds up to existing research in various ways. First, an exceptionally wide range of European countries is taken into account, including various Eastern European countries. Second, we take up the issue of the cross-cultural equivalence of the measurements. Prior to substantive analysis, we test to what extent different cultural interpretations of values affect the validity of cross-national comparisons. Third, to the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that explicitly addresses the question whether national context affects the relation between social location and values.
This paper represents an initial report on findings for a study aimed at analyzing several key aspects of middle class development in the Russian regions (subjects of Federation - oblasts, krays, autonomous republics), namely: Federal and regional government programs to stimulate the growth of the middle class (content, tools of implementation, effectiveness); Behavioral strategies and economic behavior (consumption patterns propensity to save, investment) of different sections of Russian middle class; Middle class value orientation and political preferences (including preferences for democracy).
An attempt of research of a ratio of the theory and practice in François Guizot scientific and public work is undertaken in this article. Guizot is the central figure of the French liberalism of the first half of the XIX century. The theory and practice of this thinker synthesized liberalism and conservatism.
The focus of this book - the middle class of post-Soviet countries
The article is dedicated to the review of ways of looking at social space in the sociological theory. Basing on works of those authors, who paid special attention for this question, in the text there is considered the variety of theoretical interpretations and instrumental using the category of social space. The accent is made on application of space in the context of urban sociology. All the material is systematized according to division into three aspects of looking at social space: 1. the space of social actors's interactions; 2. the structure of status positions; 3. the connection of geographic space and social meanings that are attached to it.
The article presents a sociological interpretation of efficient management of research team’s social structure, based on the stationary action principle.A relevant mathematical model was designed, built on application of variational principle to social structure operationalised as probability density of research team’s social distinctions. The article also includes an overview of empirical testing of the model by conducting a sample study.
This paper represents a synthesis of few working papers of the author, published in various mostly foreign publications. In the paper the author examines social consequences and social prerequisites for specific role that Russian state and Russian audiences are playing in the media. In our opinion the situation in Russian media cannot to be perceived outside the context of social structure of the Russian society and the role of the state in this society.
Based on the data of European Social Survey we made a research of the opinion of the middle class on the welfare and social assistance, the main functions of the state in resolving a number of social issues in different countries with different models of social policy. The results of investigation showed that the population's vision of the role of the government in solution of the social problems, as well as of its general functions is different in various countries. Besides we can speak about a certain difference of attitudes of the middle class and working class regarding the social support program.
social policies, Middle class, working class, Public opinion, welfare