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Working paper

Russian Longitudinal Panel Study of Educational and Occupational Trajectories: Building Culturally-Sensitive Research Framework

Longitudinal cohort studies of life trajectories are progressively gaining international renown as the most relevant methods for studying education, socialization, and labor market, among other related issues. The Russian Longitudinal Panel Study of Educational and Occupational Trajectories is the first national-scale project of this type in contemporary Russia, and is aimed at improving the current lack of reliable high-quality data on this issue. The benefits of the longitudinal design for causal analysis are much discussed in literature and well acknowledged by scholars. Our study strives to combine the traditional benefits of quantitative analysis with the advantages of cultural-oriented interpretive analysis in sociology, anthropology, and psychology. Another important feature of this study is enriching the data from the national panel with the data from international tests of student competences, namely PISA and TIMSS. In this paper I shed light on the aims, context, perspectives and ambitions of the study; discuss the conceptual benefits, restrictions, and implicit assumptions of the approach; observe the methodological design, and briefly review the main research questions that shaped the study.