Sociology (including Demography and Anthropology
Despite the fact that culture, aesthetics, and art were some of the main concerns of early classical sociology (e.g., Simmel’s essays are probably the most popular reference in this regard), later culture has become a matter of interest of a sub-discipline, that of the sociology of culture. The end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries brought a radical transformation of sociological understanding of culture, and it was Jeffrey Alexander who revived the notion and proposed a new understanding of sociological theory drawn on this notion. According to Alexander, culture should be treated as an autonomous realm being able to act and contribute to the social order. In (re)turning to this understanding, Alexander draws upon a variety of now-classical theories, but mainly on Durkheim’s theory of religion as explicated in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. Clifford Geertz and his idea of thick description is one of the sources for the renewed cultural sociology. In Art as a Cultural System (1976), he wrote that “to study an art form is to explore a sensibility” and “such a sensibility is essentially a collective formation, and that the foundations of such a formation are as wide as social existence and as deep”. The special issue of the RSR is dedicated to empirical and theoretical discussion of how art can serve as a source of sociological imagination.
This book explores the contradictory development of gender roles in Central and Eastern Europe including Russia. In light of the social changes that followed the collapse of communism and the rise of new conservatism in Eastern Europe, it studies new forms of gender relationships and reassesses the status quo of female empowerment. Moreover, leading scholars in gender studies discuss how right-wing populism and conservative movements have affected sociopolitical discourses and concepts related to gender roles, rights, and attitudes, and how Western feminism in the 1990s may have contributed to this conservative turn.
Mainly focusing on power constellations and gender, the book is divided into four parts: the first explores the history of and recent trends in feminist movements in Eastern Europe, while the second highlights the dynamics and conflicts that gained momentum after neoconservative parties gained political power in post-socialist countries. In turn, the third part discusses new empowerment strategies and changes in gender relationships. The final part illustrates the identities, roles, and concepts of masculinity created in the sociocultural and political context of Eastern Europe.
The Law and Policy of New Eurasian Regionalization: Economic Integration, Trade, and Investment in the Post-Soviet and Greater Eurasian Space makes several unique contributions to the literature. First and foremost, most of the current literature is in either economics or politics, with only a secondary focus on legal and institutional matters. Secondly, and consequently, the book is accessible and relevant to readers both ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the boundaries of the Eurasian area: not only geographical boundaries, but also legal, geopolitical, geoeconomic, cultural, and, indeed, disciplinary boundaries. Drawing on international, transnational, and comparative legal scholarship, this rich volume offers the insights by a plethora of leading international scholars in economics, institutional theory, area studies, international relations, global political economy, political science, and sociology. The contributors come from four corners of the globe, including Asia, Europe, and North America.
The authors introduce ongoing child welfare reform in Russia, consider the international and national context, as well as the main drivers of these reforms and their current results. In addition, a literature review of field is also provided. Child welfare reform in Russia builds on the idea of every child’s right to grow up in a family. The main aim is to deinstitutionalize the child welfare system by promoting adoptions and fostering, restructuring the remaining residential institutions into home-like environments and creating community-based family support services. The chapter introduces the main concepts and terminology used to describe the child welfare system, the research questions of the volume, and employs a neo-institutionalist framework as the theoretical framework of the book. The volume analyses how reform is implemented, which echoes a fundamental change in the ideological premises of child welfare policy. Thus, the reform has shifted the course of the child welfare policy in Russia. The volume examines how the reforms are affecting the institutions and practices of child welfare in Russia, what kind of institutional change has followed the shift in the ideals, and what are the intended and unintended consequences of these reform processes. Finally, the chapter gives a brief overview of the chapters in the volume.
How does peripherality challenge methodology and theory-making? This book examines how the peripheral can be incorporated into ethnographic research, and reflects on what it means to be on the periphery—ontologically and epistemologically. Starting from the premise that clarity and fixity as ideals of modernity prevent us from approaching that which cannot be easily captured and framed into scientific boundaries, the book argues for remaining on the boundary between the known and the unknown in order to surpass this ethnographic limit. Its ethnographic case studies engage with a series of empirical and theoretical issues, including: What is at the centre and what is at the periphery of what we do? How can we represent what lies beneath the threshold of verbal reasoning, or does not respond to the criteria for widely recognised forms of knowledge? Does learning entail unlearning? Peripheral Methodologies shows that peripherality is not only to be seen as a marginal condition, but rather as a form of theory-making and practice that incorporates reflexivity and experimentation.
This book presents a novel and innovative approach to the study of social evolution using case studies from the Old and the New World, from prehistory to the present. This approach is based on examining social evolution through the evolution of social institutions. Evolution is defined as the process of structural change. Within this framework the society, or culture, is seen as a system composed of a vast number of social institutions that are constantly interacting and changing. As a result, the structure of society as a whole is also evolving and changing.
The authors posit that the combination of evolving social institutions explains the non-linear character of social evolution and that every society develops along its own pathway and pace. Within this framework, society should be seen as the result of the compound effect of the interactions of social institutions specific to it. Further, the transformation of social institutions and relations between them is taking place not only within individual societies but also globally, as institutions may be trans-societal, and even institutions that operate in one society can arise as a reaction to trans-societal trends and demands.
The book argues that it may be more productive to look at institutions even within a given society as being parts of trans-societal systems of institutions since, despite their interconnectedness, societies still have boundaries, which their members usually know and respect. Accordingly, the book is a must-read for researchers and scholars in various disciplines who are interested in a better understanding of the origins, history, successes and failures of social institutions.
A collection of essays written in 2012-2019 on the evolution of Putin's regime in Russia in the perspective of Russian history, society and political culture.
This book explores Russia’s efforts towards both adapting to and shaping a world in transformation. Russia has been largely marginalized in the post-Cold War era and has struggled to find its place in the world, which means that the chaotic changes in the world present Russia with both threats and opportunities. The rapid shift in the international distribution of power and emergence of a multipolar world disrupts the existing order, although it also enables Russia to diversify it partnerships and restore balance. Adapting to these changes involves restructuring its economy and evolving the foreign policy. The crises in liberalism, environmental degradation, and challenge to state sovereignty undermine political and economic stability while also widening Russia’s room for diplomatic maneuvering. This book analyzes how Russia interprets these developments and its ability to implement the appropriate responses.
This book addresses the challenges and opportunities of contemporary and future development of Eurasia. The main theme of the first part of the book is examining the reaction evoked in different countries by the Chinese “Belt and Road Initiative.” The second part analyses other national and international integration and infrastructure projects in Eurasia. This unique publication brings together in one volume works by leading researchers from different countries, all united by their common interest in the political and economic processes unfolding in the Eurasian continent. By offering various points of view from experts from all over the world, this book provides a multi-dimensional analysis of the Eurasian future and will be of value to a wide range of readers, including scholars, publicists, the international business community and decision-makers.
The book focuses most of all on women's and partly on men's agency, to discuss variant ways in which women and men actively use their scopes of action - through political activism, protest, movements, in the military. The book is aiming to dicuss variant perspectives on these issues in different contexts witin Eastern Europe. How do these in change affect conservative societies and the concepts of masculinity?
The volume is structured in four parts:
I) Floating concepts of Femininities and Masculinities
(essentially this is a discussion on the role of feminism in the transformation period in Eastern Europe)
II) Political Activism
(this part deals with political participation of women - also within conservative parties - and of variant forms of protest)
III) Nationalism and Militarization of societies
(also papers on violence)
IV) Social Roles and Concepts of Women and Men
Provides an overview of the developments and advances in the field of network clustering and blockmodeling over the last 10 years
This book offers an integrated treatment of network clustering and blockmodeling, covering all of the newest approaches and methods that have been developed over the last decade. Presented in a comprehensive manner, it offers the foundations for understanding network structures and processes, and features a wide variety of new techniques addressing issues that occur during the partitioning of networks across multiple disciplines such as community detection, blockmodeling of valued networks, role assignment, and stochastic blockmodeling.
Written by a team of international experts in the field, Advances in Network Clustering and Blockmodeling offers a plethora of diverse perspectives covering topics such as: bibliometric analyses of the network clustering literature; clustering approaches to networks; label propagation for clustering; and treating missing network data before partitioning. It also examines the partitioning of signed networks, multimode networks, and linked networks. A chapter on structured networks and coarsegrained descriptions is presented, along with another on scientific coauthorship networks. The book finishes with a section covering conclusions and directions for future work. In addition, the editors provide numerous tables, figures, case studies, examples, datasets, and more.Offers a clear and insightful look at the state of the art in network clustering and blockmodeling Provides an excellent mix of mathematical rigor and practical application in a comprehensive manner Presents a suite of new methods, procedures, algorithms for partitioning networks, as well as new techniques for visualizing matrix arrays Features numerous examples throughout, enabling readers to gain a better understanding of research methods and to conduct their own research effectively Written by leading contributors in the field of spatial networks analysis
Advances in Network Clustering and Blockmodeling is an ideal book for graduate and undergraduate students taking courses on network analysis or working with networks using real data. It will also benefit researchers and practitioners interested in network analysis.
Working Title: From Corporate Social Responsibility to Corporate Social Liability
Subtitle: A Socio-Legal Study of Corporate Liability in Global Value Chains
This book discusses international migration in the newly independent states after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which involved millions of people. Written by authors from 15 countries, it summarizes the population movement over the post-Soviet territories, both within the newly independent states and in other countries over the past 25 years. It focuses on the volume of migration flows, the number and socio-demographic characteristics of migrants, migration factors and the situation of migrants in receiving countries. The authors, who include demographers, economists, geographers, anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists, used various methods and sources of information, such as censuses, administrative statistics, the results of mass sample surveys and in-depth interviews. This heterogeneity highlights the multifaceted nature of the topic of migration movements.
The title of the book refers to the sociological survey, conducted by the "Public opinion" Fund in 2000. It is focused on the representation of Internet as a complex phenomenon in modern Russia. First, the Internet is considered as part of the media system that not only rapidly developing, but also significantly transforming the system as a whole. Second, it contains the analysis of main online markets in Russia. Thirdly, the Internet is analyzed in political, social and cultural contexts.
The paper provides findings of the research work and scientific discussions under the “Global Sustainability Strategy Forum” (GSSF) that aims to develop evidence-informed judgments on challenges and solutions. It views attaining sustainability as a set of closely-coupled societal and environmental challenges and opportunities that require integration of multiple disciplines, new research methods, and new knowledge sources with sensitivity to regional and cultural diversities. The project is designed to produce innovative insights and strategies to support effective governance of transitions to sustainability of our complex global social-ecological system within its inherent resource limitations, and to develop sustainable lifestyles that are practical and appealing in the different regions and cultures of the world.
Language policy and usage in the post-communist region have continually attracted wide political, media, and expert attention since the disintegration of the USSR in 1991. How are these issues politicized in contemporary Estonia, Latvia, and Ukraine? This study presents a cross-cultural qualitative and quantitative analysis of publications in leading Russian-language blogs and news websites of these three post-Soviet states during the period of 2004–2017. The most notable difference observed between Ukraine and the two Baltic countries is that many Russian-writing users in Ukraine’s internet tend to support the position that the state language, i.e. Ukrainian, is discriminated against and needs special protection by the state, whereas the majority of the Russian-speaking commentators on selected Estonian and Latvian news websites advocate for introducing Russian as a second state language. Despite attempts of Ukraine’s government to Ukrainize public space, the position of Ukrainian is still perceived, even by many Russian-writing commentators and bloggers, as being ‘precarious’ and ‘vulnerable’. This became especially visible in debates after the Revolution of Dignity, when the number of supporters of the introduction of Russian as second state language significantly decreased. In the Russian-language sector of Estonian and Latvian news websites and blogs, in contrast, the majority of online users continually reproduce the image of ‘victims’ of nation-building. They often claim that their political, as well as economic rights, are significantly limited in comparison to ethnic Estonians and Latvians. The results of Maksimovtsova’s research illustrate that, notwithstanding differences between the Estonian as well as Latvian cases, on the one hand, and Ukraine, on the other, there is an ongoing process of convergence of debates in Ukraine to those held in the other two countries analyzed in terms of an increased degree of ‘discursive decommunization’ and ‘derussification’.
In America today, two communities with sub-Saharan African genetic origins exist side by side, though they have differing histories and positions within society. This book explores the relationship between African Americans, descendants of those Africans brought to America as slaves, and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who have come to the United States of America voluntarily, mainly since the 1990s. Members of these groups have both a great deal in common and much that separates them, largely hidden in their assumptions about, and attitudes towards, each other. In a work grounded in extensive fieldwork Bondarenko and his research team interviewed African Americans, and migrants from twenty-three African States and five Caribbean nations, as well as non-black Americans involved with African Americans and African migrants. Seeking a wide range of perspectives, from different ages, classes and levels of education, they explored the historically rooted mutual images of African Americans and contemporary African migrants, so as to understand how these images influence the relationship between them. In particular, they examined conceptions of ‘black history’ as a common history of all people and nations with roots in Africa. What emerges is a complex picture. While collective historical memory of oppression forges solidarity, lack of knowledge of each other’s history can create distance between communities. African migrants tend to define their identities not by race, but on the basis of multiple layers of national, ethnic, religious and linguistic affinities (of which African Americans are often unaware). For African Americans, however, although national and regional identities are important, it is above all race that is the defining factor. While drawing on wider themes from anthropology and African studies, this in-depth study on a little-researched subject allows valuable new understandings of contemporary American society.
Contributors to this volume discuss a variety of ways the African past (African history) influences the present-day of Africans on the continent and in diaspora: cultural (historical) memory as a factor of public (mass) consciousness; the impact of the historical past on contemporary political, social, and cultural processes in Africa and African diaspora.
This volume is an output of a research project implemented as part of the Basic Research Program at the National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).
Since young adults tend to move from rural to urban regions, whereas older adults move from urban to rural regions, we may expect to see increasing differences in population ageing across urban and rural regions. This paper examines whether trends in population ageing across urban and rural NUTS-2 regions of the EU-27 have diverged over the period 2003–13. We use the methodological approach of convergence analysis, quite recently brought to demography from the field of economic research. Unlike classical beta and sigma approaches to convergence, we focus not on any single summary statistic of convergence, but rather analyse the whole cumulative distribution of regions. Such an approach helps to identify which specific group of regions is responsible for the major changes. Our results suggest that, despite expectations, there was no divergence in age structures between urban and rural regions; rather, divergence happened within each of the groups of regions.
Review: Alfred Smudits (ed.), Roads to Music Sociology (Wiesbaden: Springer, 2019).
The editorial introduction outlines the theoretical framework of the special issue by indicating main ideas that shape the research agenda. Alexander Filippov and Nail Farkhatdinov provide the grounds for the cultural sociological understanding of the arts and literature in relation to the problems of sociological knowledge. The editorial is completed with the overview of the contributions.
Surprisingly few attempts have been made to quantify the simultaneous contribution of well-established risk factors to CVD mortality differences between countries. We aimed to develop and critically appraise an approach to doing so, applying it to the substantial CVD mortality gap between Russia and Norway using survey data in three cities and mortality risks from the Emerging Risk Factor Collaboration. We estimated the absolute and relative differences in CVD mortality at ages 40–69 years between countries attributable to the risk factors, under the counterfactual that the age- and sex-specific risk factor profile in Russia was as in Norway, and vice-versa. Under the counterfactual that Russia had the Norwegian risk factor profile, the absolute age-standardized CVD mortality gap would decline by 33.3% (95% CI 25.1–40.1) among men and 22.1% (10.4–31.3) among women. In relative terms, the mortality rate ratio (Russia/Norway) would decline from 9–10 to 7–8. Under the counterfactual that Norway had the Russian risk factor profile, the mortality gap reduced less. Well-established CVD risk factors account for a third of the male and around a quarter of the female CVD mortality gap between Russia and Norway. However, these estimates are based on widely held epidemiological assumptions that deserve further scrutiny.
To investigate whether the introduction of Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP) in Scotland on 1 May 2018 was reflected in changes in the likelihood of alcohol‐related queries submitted to an internet search engine and in particular whether there was any evidence of increased interest in purchasing of alcohol from outside Scotland.
Observational study in which individual queries to the internet Bing search engine for 2018 in Scotland and England were captured and analysed. Fluctuations over time in the likelihood of specific topic searches were examined. The patterns seen in Scotland were contrasted with those in England.
Scotland and England.
People who used the Bing search engine during 2018.
Numbers of daily queries submitted to Bing in 2018 on eight alcohol‐related topics expressed as a proportion of queries on that day on any topic. These daily likelihoods were smoothed using a 14‐day moving average for Scotland and England separately.
There were substantial peaks in queries about MUP itself, cheap sources of alcohol and online alcohol outlets at the time of introduction of MUP in May 2018 in Scotland but not England. These were relatively short‐lived. Queries related to intoxication and alcohol problems did not show a MUP peak but were appreciably higher in Scotland than in England throughout 2018.
Analysis of internet search engine queries appears to show that a fraction of people in Scotland may have considered circumventing minimum unit pricing in 2018 by looking for online alcohol retailers. The overall higher levels of queries related to alcohol problems in Scotland compared with England mirrors the corresponding differences in alcohol consumption and harms between the countries.
Previous studies have shown that ambivalent gender attitudes are associated with attitudes toward homosexuals. However, most of these studies have primarily considered ambivalent attitudes toward women and attitudes toward gay men, and have been carried out in countries with progressive laws regarding homosexuality. In this study, we examined the connection between ambivalent attitudes toward men and women and attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women in countries with conservative sexual legislation. In the first study, participants were residents of Russia (N = 163) and Kazakhstan (N = 194), while the second study used residents of Russia (N = 496) and Belarus (N = 123). Results indicated that benevolent attitudes predicted attitudes toward gays and lesbians better than the hostile ones. At the same time, attitudes toward men and women similarly predicted attitudes toward gays and lesbians. These patterns were manifested among different components of attitudes toward homosexuals. The results are discussed within the social context of the countries.
Which cultural objects are most likely to become topics of conversation between strangers who have little in common in terms of their cultural background? A widely shared view is that artistic products that play this role are likely to be “popular” in the dual sense of being both widely consumed and less legitimate. To test this proposition, we developed a unimodal network approach to analysing cultural consumption data. Using data from St. Petersburg (Russia) municipal library system, we reconstruct a network of 21,931 authors. We demonstrate that authors with predominantly university-educated readership are more likely to bridge cultural holes in taste networks, as measured by aggregate constraint and betweenness. At least as far as the literature is concerned, it is the legitimate figures that provide themes for “culture talk” across large cultural distances. We argue that the observed pattern might be explained as an outcome of two phenomena: (1) participation of lower-status audiences in the consumption of legitimate culture, particularly under pressure from formal educational institutions, and (2) asymmetry in tastes, with high-status consumers placing more value on the distinctiveness of their preferences.
Our research bears on two critical issues for contemporary Russia: federal–regional power relations; and whether Moscow can modernize institutions and address dissatisfaction with social service delivery, a major political issue. It is the first comprehensive study of a major 2015 reform that ended the state monopoly over service provision and initiated outsourcing (contracting out) to socially oriented non-profits (SONPOs) and other nonstate organizations. We find substantial interregional variation. Statistical tests of economic, political, and institutional explanations show that only the economic helps to explain variation across Russia's regions. We rely on comparisons of six regions, drawing on semi-structured interviews to gain a contextualized understanding of their varied implementation strategies. Key findings are that regional leaders demonstrated agency in crafting diverse strategies, while the Center showed flexibility. Whether Moscow can modernize public services remains unclear, though there is some evidence of improvement since the beginning of the outsourcing reform.
In this paper, we propose a novel framework for a scholarly journal – a token‐curated registry (TCR). This model originates in the field of blockchain and cryptoeconomics and is essentially a decentralized system where tokens (digital currency) are used to incentivize quality curation of information. TCR is an automated way to create lists of any kind where decisions (whether to include N or not) are made through voting that brings benefit or loss to voters. In an academic journal, TCR could act as a tool to introduce community‐driven decisions on papers to be published, thus encouraging more active participation of authors/reviewers in editorial policy and elaborating the idea of a journal as a club. TCR could also provide a novel solution to the problems of editorial bias and the lack of rewards/incentives for reviewers. In the paper, we discuss core principles of TCR, its technological and cultural foundations, and finally analyse the risks and challenges it could bring to scholarly publishing.