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Of all publications in the section: 72
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Working paper
Scherbak A. N. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2015
Considering diet as often a product of adaptation to geographic environment, this paper suggests that not only amount of food (food abundance) is important, but what kind of foods people eat may also affect social change. One of the reasons for variation in diet is food intolerances as a result of adaptation to the environment. This paper investigates one case – lactase persistence. This trait is associated with different genotypes of LCT gene. Lactase persistence is mostly spread among northern Europeans, and is also found among some African and Asian nomadic populations. Such unique trait is usually explained in the gene-culture coevolution framework: selective pressure for it had to be followed by expansion of dairying and herding. Empirical analysis based on 78 populations reveals strong and positive association between share of lactase persistent population and distribution of emancipative values. Two causal mechanisms are suggested: a) demographic trends (lower fertility and lower child mortality in lactose tolerant societies) and b) specific type of agriculture based on integration of crop growing and cattle husbandry (higher urban population rate in lactose tolerant societies).
Added: Sep 17, 2015
Working paper
Zudina A. A. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2013. No. 24/SOC/2013.
This article addresses the elaboration of a new approach to informal employment research based on analyzing subjective social status. In spite of numerous studies conducted over the past 40 years many questions still exist in the field of informal employment research. The heterogeneous nature of activities incorporated into the concept of “informality” defines the ambiguity of its impact on the economy and society. Thus, little is actually known about the socioeconomic position of informal workers and the nature of informal employment. Is informality a kind of stratifying mechanism embedded in the social structure that changes the position of the informally employed, or not? The so-called “direct” approach based on analyzing levels of income was considered to be an inappropriate framework and thus indicated that the consequences of informal employment need to be further analyzed together with indirect – subjective – measures. The present paper discusses methodological issues and presents results concerning the subjective social position of informally employed workers in contrast to formal workers, the unemployed, and the economically inactive population. The study was carried out on the basis of a large nationally representative panel: the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of the Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) for 2000-2010. The existence of three-tier informal employment in Russia is revealed with self-employment being better off than formal employment and informal wage and salary work. No significant difference between informal wage and salary work and formal employment in terms of subjective social status is found. Thereby, one can suppose that the difference between types of employment is not embedded in the social structure at all. Taken as an indirect indicator of the quality formal employment in Russia, this could point to the great weakness of labor market institutions and the idle channels of social mobility of formal employment in Russia.
Added: Sep 9, 2013
Working paper
Biryukova S., Sinyavskaya O., Nurimanova I. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. WP BRP 68/SOC/2016.
From 2007 to 2014 total fertility rate in Russia increased from 1.42 to 1.75. To what extent this growth is related to a package of family policy measures introduced in 2007? Although the maternity (family) capital program is the most well-known innovation of the 2007 reform, we argue that the new rules of monthly childcare allowance assignment is its another major component. Since all measures were introduced simultaneously, it is only possible to estimate their cumulative effect on subsequent fertility behavior. Using panel Russian Generations and Gender Survey data collected in 2004, 2007 and 2011 this study assesses how family policy changes introduced in 2007 were related to the fertility behavior in Russia in recent years. We find a statistically significant increase in the chances of having second and subsequent births in September 2007 to Summer 2011 in comparison with the period of Summer 2004 to September 2007. We interpret that as a cumulative effect of the 2007 policy changes. We acknowledge that the observed effects might be related only to the calendar shifts in fertility behavior and further data and studies are needed to make any conclusions about completed fertility of the cohorts affected by 2007 family policy measures.
Added: Oct 5, 2015
Working paper
Koltsova O., Selivanova G. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. 67.
This research investigates to which extent activity of a social movement on a social networking site is related to participation in the offline collective action. We use the data from 17 online groups representing the branches of the movement for Fair Elections in 17 districts of St.Petersburg, Russia, and compare their online parameters to real offline participation of group members in elections in the role of observers. With around 12,000 online users and over 200 offline participants, we use social network analysis and statistical analysis to obtain our results. We find that both on the group and the individual levels participation is related to online networking features and activity parameters, albeit to a modest degree, and offline leaders are especially different from the rest of the members in terms of most online features.
Added: Jan 22, 2016
Working paper
Griaznova O. S. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2013. No. 18.
This study examines the effect of personal interests and basic human values on the degree of support for a welfare state. Data from the European Social Survey, round 4 (2008) for 29 European countries (total n = 56,752) was used for the study. Results show that values such as collectivism and altruism promote demand for state intervention in welfare, while values like individualism and egoism negatively affect it. Income has the strongest negative effect on support for a welfare state among all the factors tested, even more so than gender and employment status in all types of welfare states. Compared to other countries (familialistic, social-democratic, conservative, and liberal), former USSR and ex-communist countries seem to be more influenced by collectivistic and individualistic values, and education. In addition, in ex-communist countries, altruistic and egoistic values have a crucial impact on the demand for a welfare state. In liberal, conservative, and social-democratic countries, values and education do not have much impact.
Added: Jun 3, 2013
Working paper
Shevchuk A., Strebkov D. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2012. No. 12/SOC/2012.

Based on a sample of 5,784 Russian-speaking respondents, this study provides the first quantitative evidence on freelance contracting via the Internet. We explore the extent to which these virtual business relations are formal or informal, and the role of social capital and
networking. Our data suggest freelancers act under constant threat of malfeasance from clients. We  address a number of questions associated with freelancers’  business risks and how freelancers might mitigate them.  The logistic regression models reveal that the virtualization of relationships with clients is associated with greater moral hazard risks and fewer opportunities for dispute resolution. Formal written contracts do not prevent opportunistic behaviors by clients, though such contracts help resolve conflicts. Dealing with available social contacts and referrals decreases both the probability of  extreme opportunism, causing financial losses, and the probability that disputes remain unresolved. Nevertheless, established social relations could be exploited by clients who
can delay payments or insist on altering deadlines, work scope and specifications.  Thus, our findings contribute to existing literatures on social capital in freelance contracting and on the structure of occupational labor markets.

Added: Dec 19, 2012
Working paper
Poldin O. V., Valeeva D., Yudkevich M. M. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2014. No. WP BRP 37/SOC/2014.
We analyze the characteristics of the social networks of students studying in the economics department in one Russian university. We focus on student friendship and study assistance ties and demonstrate how these networks are connected with the individual characteristics of students and their peers. We find that the probability of a tie existing is explained by the gender homophily, and initial student assignment to the same exogenously defined study group. Students ask for help and form friendships with students who have similar academic achievements. Academically successful students are more popular in study assistance networks while there is no gender difference in student popularity in both networks. Our findings enhance the understanding of the role of friendship and study assistance ties in the formation of peer group effects
Added: Mar 26, 2014
Working paper
Soboleva N. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2019. No. WP BRP 88/SOC/2019.
Nowadays, in Europe, women do not have lower education as compared to men, but they are often less advantaged in their careers. The study aimed to reveal the association between gender attitudes, achievement motivation and realisation of this achievement motivation among the working women in Europe. According to multilevel regression modelling on European Social Survey (2010) data on employed individuals, women and men with more egalitarian gender attitudes in general have higher achievement motivation and are more likely to be able to influence policy decisions in their organisations. The impact of achievement motivation on the possibility to influence decisions was very strong in all the countries. The models with cross-level interaction showed that in most cases the association between the three aspects are more pronounced in countries with higher female participation in the labor market.
Added: Oct 23, 2019
Working paper
Soboleva N. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2014. No. WP BRP 46/SOC/2014.
This paper deals with factors determining work-related gender attitudes. With the spread of emancipative values the difference between gender roles is becoming more vague but is still strongly dependent upon country characteristics. While gender attitudes are usually regarded as factors impacting socio-economic behavior, my research underlines a less explored aspect: they are themselves formed and changed in the process of economic interactions. The objective is to assess the role of job characteristics among factors determining gender attitudes in different types of countries. More specifically, we focus on the interaction effect between education and employment characteristics on a micro- and macro-level. Female labor force participation rate and ratio of female to male tertiary enrollment are used as the indicators of female involvement in labor market activities. The 5th wave of World Values Survey (2005-2008) serves as the empirical base. The targeted group of the population is the employed. Multilevel regression modeling is used. According to the results, work-related gender attitudes vary considerably by country. The higher occupational status as well as more intellectual, creative and independent jobs lead to more egalitarian gender attitudes. Self-employed and part-time workers have more traditional gender attitudes. On the country-level, the higher the ratio of female to male tertiary enrollment is, the more egalitarian work-related gender attitudes in the country. Contrary to the initial hypothesis, labor force participation rate itself does not have a significant impact. In countries with more involvement of women in education and labor market activities, education and job characteristics impact gender attitudes to a lesser extent. Furthermore, there is less difference in female and male gender attitudes in such countries
Added: Jul 17, 2014
Working paper
Poldin O. V., Valeeva D., Yudkevich M. M. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2013. No. 15/SOC/2013.
Among the key issues of peer effects estimation is the correct identification of relevant peers. In this study, we explore how the individual performance of university students is influenced by characteristics and achievements of peers from individual’s social network. The analysis uses data from two directed networks: a network of friends and a network of study partners for third-year students at a top-tier Russian university. Data on network ties in randomly formed student groups enables us to address the endogeneity problem and disentangle the influence of peers’ performance from the effect that a peer’s background has on students. We show that both the GPA of peers and their ability measures are significant in the estimated regression model. A one-point increase in the average GPA of peers is associated with an increase in an individual student’s own GPA of approximately one fourth. The regression on the data from the network of study partners has slightly greater explanatory power than the analysis based on data from the network of friends. No effect from a student’s classmates is found in the model that assumes group interactions occur between group mates.
Added: Mar 14, 2013
Working paper
Lebedeva N., Grigoryan L. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2013. No. 16.
This study reveals and examines cultural differences in values, implicit theories of innovativeness, and attitudes toward innovation across three ethnocultural groups: Russians, representatives of the peoples of North Caucasus (Ingush and Chechens), and Tuvins (N = 801). Individual theories of innovativeness appeared to be more pronounced in Russians, whereas social theories of innovativeness are more discernible in respondents from the North Caucasus and Tuva. Using structural equation modeling, we identified a culturally universal model of value effects (direct and mediated by implicit theories of innovativeness) on attitudes toward innovation. The study demonstrates how the direct negative impact of Conservation values on positive attitudes toward innovation is transformed into a positive impact that promotes the acceptance of innovation through the mediating role of implicit theories of innovativeness. This study sheds light on the important mediating role of implicit theories of innovativeness on the impact of individual values on attitudes toward innovation in different cultures.
Added: Mar 7, 2013
Working paper
Labigne A., Kononykhina O., Mersianova I. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2015. No. WP BRP 59/SOC/2015.
Following a public sphere approach to civil society research, we develop a working definition of Critical Capacity to analyze what leaders of Russian nonprofit organizations (NPOs) say regarding their political embeddedness. Theoretically, we stress the value added of differentiating more explicitly between the nonprofit sector, the third sector and civil society – the Critical Capacity concept represents a way forward towards applying that essential differentiation. Empirically, factor analysis on representative and current survey data confirms four dimensions of Critical Capacity, namely NPO leaders’ attitudes toward the role of the state, other NPOs, international cooperation as well as recent political events. In a second step, and based on these four dimensions, a cluster analytical model helps us to identify six reliable opinion clusters as well as the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of each group. Finally, we conclude on strength and weaknesses of our approach and address further research
Added: Feb 18, 2015
Working paper
Yastrebov G. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. 69.
The aim of this paper is to bridge the gaps in existing accounts of the evolution of intergenerational social mobility in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia. The study makes a potentially valuable contribution to the literature by extending the spectrum of institutional and historical contexts, in which (in)equality of opportunity has been considered so far, and a chance to re-examine existing evidence by using alternative datasets and a slightly different methodology. Following the conventions in the social mobility literature in this study I approach social destinations and social origins in terms of educational and occupational attainments of children and their parents respectively. For empirical part I utilize data from four representative cross-national surveys conducted in Russia in 1994, 2002, 2006 and 2013. To study historical change in the patterns of social mobility I identify four cohorts whose educational and occupational careers unfolded during four different historical periods (two for the Soviet and two for the post-Soviet period). Being informed by several earlier studies on post-socialist countries including earlier research on Russia, I anticipated (1) a trend towards lesser (rather than greater) openness in the late years of the Soviet era, (2) a temporary discontinuity of mobility patterns during the turbulent 1990s and (3) the ‘tightening up’ of social mobility regime in the more stable years of Russia’s post-Soviet history. If any such trend existed, my findings would rather suggest that it was directed towards decreasing intergenerational transmission of educational advantage in the post-Soviet era, rather than the other way around. Also, surprisingly and quite contrary to earlier findings and theoretical considerations, the changes in the pattern of occupational mobility remained surprisingly invariant to the changes in historical and institutional context. The paper concludes with highlighting some of the remaining puzzles and possible directions for future research.
Added: Feb 3, 2016
Working paper
Foa R., Nemirovskaya A., Mostovova E. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2012. No. 09.
One of the attributes most consistently highlighted in the literature on frontier society is the tendency to spontaneous social organisation. However, despite the resilience of the ‘frontier thesis’ within sociology and political science, it has not been subject to a rigorous empirical examination. Does it constitute a description of the social norms and institution of the western United States, or is it one manifestation of a more general ‘frontier phenomenon’, found in other times and places? In order to answer these questions, this article examines data on the nature of social relations in frontier zones in four countries: Brazil, Russia, Canada and the United States. Taking a wide range of survey items, we find that higher levels of voluntary activity, social trust, tolerance of outgroups, and civic protest are distinctive features of frontier life, and not simply a feature of the American historical experience.
Added: Jun 9, 2012
Working paper
Lazarev Y. A. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2011. No. 01.
How do insecure property rights over land affect electoral competition and the level of violence? To answer this question, I explore original empirical evidence from Dagestan, Russia’s most turbulent North Caucasian republic. The exploration is based on a statistical analysis of district-level data with special emphasis on chronological validity. Studying the relationship between land titles of the Soviet period and post-Soviet amounts of tenured land, the research demonstrates that the amount of unregistered land in each district has a profound effect on local electoral competition and indices of violence. A higher percentage of untenured land at the district level leads to less electoral competition and more intense violence. Consequently, the study finds that the insecurity of property rights creates an opportunity structure for electoral patronage and violent expression of conflicts and grievances. In theoretical perspective this study sheds light upon a relatively unexplored institutional factor that drives electoral process and violence in predominantly agrarian societies.
Added: Aug 28, 2012
Working paper
Semykina K. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2018. No. WP BRP 81/SOC/2018.
The article analyses representation of LGBT-movement activity, namely Saint Petersburg LGBT prides, in Russia. Framing theory, which views the media as an arena in which groups of interest promote their frames, or interpretations of the discussed issue, is used. Frames juxtapose elements of the text in such a way as to provide the audience with a scheme to perceive the message. Social movements are viewed as a group of interest that introduces new frames in the public deliberation. Two types of frames can be distinguished, namely collective action frames and status quo frames. In this study, usage of two collective action frames were examined (equality frame and victim frame), and two status quo frames (morality frame and propaganda of homosexuality). Additionally, the sources of quotes used in news stories were analyzed. The study focuses on articles dedicated to Saint Petersburg LGBT prides in years 2010-2017 in the most popular local Internet websites. The analysis shows that the coverage of LGBT prides can be divided into two distinct periods: 2010–2013 and 2014–2017. In the first period, LGBT activists dominated the coverage, quoted about twice more actively than government officials. Equality and victim frames were prevalent. In the second period, activists were cited significantly less often, with the propaganda of homosexuality frame dominating in the discourse. However, contrary to findings of previous studies on social movement representation, across the whole period under consideration LGBT activists were quoted more actively than government representatives. This finding calls for further exploration of the conditions which allowed for such coverage in the context of political heterosexism and homophobia.
Added: Jun 19, 2019
Working paper
Nagornyy O. S., Koltsova O. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2017. No. WP BRP 74/SOC/2017.
Media audiences that represent a significant part of a county’s public may hold opinions on media-generated definitions of social problems different from those of media professionals. The proliferation of user-generated content makes such opinions available, but simultaneously demands new automatic methods of analysis that media scholars still have to master. In this paper, we show how topics regarded as problematic by media consumers may be revealed and analyzed by social scientists with a combination of data mining methods. Our dataset consists of 33,877 news items and 258,121 comments from a sample of regional newspapers. With a number of new, but simple indices we find that issue salience in media texts and its popularity with audience diverge. We conclude that our approach can help communication scholars effectively detect both popular and negatively perceived topics as good proxies of social problems.   
Added: May 16, 2017
Working paper
Ibragimova D. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2012. No. 11.
This paper reports the findings of an all-Russian cross-sectional representative survey (N=1600) that was carried out by HSE in 2011. It investigates money management in Russian families. Pooling is the most common money management style, however, the choice of budget management system does not fully account for financial control and power in the household. The regression results show that main determinants for choosing a budget management system are per capita household income, respondents’ gender, wives’ education, marital age, and the budget management system in the parental family. Moreover, the interaction between the parental budget management system and current practice of budgeting in the respondent's family varies between men and women. Among those respondents who repeat the budget management system in their parents family men are more likely to choose the male dominated system, while women are more likely to choose the female dominated system, or pooling system.
Added: Aug 28, 2012
Working paper
Scherbak A. N. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2014. No. WP BRP 45/SOC/2014.
The research project aims to find link between genetic diversity and social change. Although some studies associate certain genes with prosocial behavior, it is hardly to say that any genetic polymorphisms are responsible for social change. We assume that some existing differences in particular genotypes could be explained by extent of ancient urbanization, change in population density and historic pathogen prevalence. The pathogen load might have led to some genetic mutations that in their turn might have caused difference in some allele frequency among regions and populations. Our case study is the use of strong alcohol as factor of European colonization in America, Africa and Eurasia. Historically, alcohol was one of the major trade items between Europeans and indigenous populations. I argue that there is a positive correlation between probability of being colonized by Europeans and particular allele frequency responsible for metabolism of alcohol. The risk of colonization by European powers is higher for indigenous populations which had genotype with lower allele frequencies which could ’protect’ them against alcohol abuse. I test this hypothesis using binary logistic regression. The dependent variable is the binomial variable which is coded colonization1900 of a given native population by Europeans from the 1500s to 1900. The unit of analysis is not a state, but a population. Independent variable is allele frequencies of Arg48His polymorphism among 56 populations from Africa, Asia and America. The suggested causal mechanism is uneven trade: the exchange of alcohol for local goods was unfavorable for indigenous populations. Economic dependence was followed by colonization.
Added: Jul 7, 2014
Working paper
Scherbak A. N. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2013. No. WP BRP 27/SOC/2013.
The late 1980s and early 1990s were characterized by the sudden rise of nationalist movements in almost all Soviet ethnic regions. It is argued that the rise of political nationalism since the late 1980s can be explained by development of cultural nationalism in the previous decades, as an unintended outcome of communist nationalities policy. Soviet political and cultural nationalism is studied in historical and comparative perspective. All ethnic regions are examined throughout entire history of the Soviet Union (49 regions, 1917-91), using the structural equation modeling approach. This paper aims to make at least three contributions in the field. Firstly, it is a methodological contribution for studying nationalism: a ‘quantification of history’ approach. Quantitative values are assigned to historical trends and events. Having constructed variables from historical data, I use conventional statistical methods like SEM. Secondly, this paper contributes to the theoretical debate about the role of cultural autonomy in multiethnic states. The results rethink the notion of ‘cultural autonomy’ as solution of interethnic conflict. Cultural nationalism matters, it indirectly reinforces political nationalism. In both cases concessions in the cultural domain has not stopped the growth of political nationalism in the late 1980-s. Finally, the paper statistically proves that the break between early Soviet and Stalinist nationalities policy explains the entire Soviet nationalities policy. In fact, the late Soviet nationalities policy was inherited from the Stalin’s rule period. This finding revealed in other studies now gets statistical evidence  
Added: Dec 13, 2013
Working paper
Rykov Y., Meylakhs P., Sinyavskaya Y. Sociology. SOC. Высшая школа экономики, 2016. No. 71.
Background: With the rapid growth of online social network sites (SNS), the issue of health-related online communities and its social and behavioral implications have become increasingly important for public health and healthcare. Unfortunately, online communities often become vehicles for promotion of pernicious misinformation, for example, alleged harm of vaccination or that HIV-virus is a myth (AIDS-denialism). This study seeks to explore the social structure and participants' behavior of the AIDS-denialists online community to identify and estimate the those who potentially are most susceptible to AIDS-denialists arguments  - “the risk group” in terms of becoming AIDS-denialists. Methods: Social network analysis was used for examining the most numerous AIDS-denialist community in the most popular Russian SNA “VKontakte”, which numbered 13000 – 15 000 members during the various stage of analysis. Qualitative content analysis was also used for collecting relevant for this study members’ attributes, such as HIV status and the extent of belief in AIDS-denialists arguments. Two datasets were collected to analyze friendship  relations between community members and their communication relations. Results: Using social network analysis combined with content-analysis we have identified the core of online community - cohesive and dedicated AIDS-denialists, and the risk group, which is not equal in composition to all peripheral members appeared in the online group. The risk group is the circle of users who engage with core members through online communication and may be more susceptible the AIDS-denialist propaganda. Analysis allowed to significantly reduce the target audience for possible intervention campaign and simultaneously increase the accuracy of user selection into the risk group (1369 users from the risk group is more than 10 times less than whole online group population counting over 15,000 users). Thus, online information interventions should be aimed at this risk group audience in the first place to prevent their adoption of AIDS-denialism beliefs, further spread of AIDS-denialism, and pernicious health consequences associated with being an HIV-positive AIDS-denialist. Conclusion: More research on influence of AIDS-denialism on HIV-positive online group members is needed. Of particular interest are longitudinal or case control studies that could detect the size of effect of AIDS-denialist propaganda that is communicated from hard-core denialists to the risk group, different factors associated with higher or lower susceptibility to AIDS-denialist views, and real health behavior change that occurs with becoming an AIDS-denialist.
Added: Oct 11, 2016