Institute of Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

SOCIOLOGICAL STUDIES

MONTHLY

2016 3

ONTENTS. SUMMARIES

 

HISTORY OF SOCIOLOGY

Bagramov E.. Some touches to the socio-political views of Pitirim Sorokin (article 2) (3-13)

Abstract. The article shows Sorokin’s position on an acute problem of Russia – the nationalities question. Beginning with his views on Komi people (his mother was a Komi peasant) and its position in prerevolutionary Russia the author describes Sorokin’s relation towards desintegration of the multinational state and separatist movements during the Russian revolution in 1917. There could be three ways of Russian state development among which the federation was the only realistic. At the end of the article the definition of nation is analysed.

Keywords: revolution; nationalism; federation; Russian nation; national character.

Tiryakian E.A. Updating Sorokin (13-23)

Kravchenko S.A. Updating as integrative method to study biography (comments on E.A. Tiryakian’s article) (23-27)

Abstract. The article suggests some principles of an integrated method to study biography in the form of the updating concept. It is shown that introduction of this method is associated with the acceleration and complexity of socio-cultural dynamics of society. To justify this method, in demand is integral methodology developed by P.A. Sorokin. Tool-set for updating might become a research means to study biography of a public or political figure in terms of an active social and cultural construction of reality meanings.

Keywords: biography; updating; socio-cultural dynamics; fluctuations; integral methodology

 

METHODOLOGY AND METHODS OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Burrows R., Savage M. After the crisis? Big data and the methodological challenges of empirical sociology (28-35)

Abstract. Google Trends reveals that at the time we were writing our article on ‘The Coming Crisis of Empirical Sociology’ in 2007 almost nobody was searching the internet for ‘Big Data’. It was only towards the very end of 2010 that the term began to register, just ahead of an explosion of interest from 2011 onwards. In this commentary we take the opportunity to reflect back on the claims we made in that original paper in light of more recent discussions about the social scientific implications of the inundation of digital data. Did our paper, with its emphasis on the emergence of, what we termed, ‘social transactional data’ and ‘digital byproduct data’ prefigure contemporary debates that now form the basisand rationale for this excellent new journal? Or was the paper more concerned with broader methodological, theoretical and political debates that have somehow been lost in all of the loud babble that has come to surround Big Data. Using recent work on the BBC Great British Class Survey as an example this brief paper offers a reflexive and critical reflection on what has become – much to the surprise of its authors – one of the most cited papers in the discipline of sociology in the last decade.

Keywords: ‘Big Data’; crisis of sociology; crisis of empirical sociology; social networks; study of classes in Great Britain; social transaction data

Maltseva A.V., Shilkina N.E., Mahnitkina O.V. Data mining sociology: experience and outlook for research (35-44)

Abstract. Data Mining is useful tool and source of heuristic information for sociologists today. Nowadays society is much more complex than ever, with strong tendencies to generate new social phenomena, routine practices, patterns of thinking and behavior in all spheres of human activity. At the same time sociology faces a problem of huge increae of data and wider perspectives of information and knowledge extraction from this data (Big Data). All these aspects actualize optimal methodological instruments and sets of skills that permit scientists to analyze current society objectively and effectively. Data Mining requires cross-disciplinary skills to organize this kind of research. In the article we definite Data Mining as a number of mathematical methods of getting new knowledge from large sets of data (sources and volumes) with all special technological specifics for their collecting and processing. There are many Data Mining methods, so we describe most useful for sociological research ones: cluster analysis, decision trees, associate rules, logistic regression and neural networks. Very important part of Data Mining application is Data Warehouse building with operative analysis and visualization using of multy-measures tables (OLAP). Last part of the article covers a case of Data Mining application for analysis of labor market with the aim to describe structure of this object. We demonstrated all steps of data preparation, modeling and interpretation. Results of this analytical project permitted to describe situation in Altai krai labor market with regard to vacancies and applicants. Information gave scientists a unique opportunity to analyze objective side of social institutes, social structure dynamics.

Keywords: Data Mining; cluster analysis; decision trees; visualization; labor market

 

SOCIOLOGY OF SCIENCE

Efendiev A.G., Balabanova E.S., Sorokin P.S. Identity and professional culture of Russian sociology: a bibliometric analysis (45-54)

Abstract. The paper continues analysis of the negative tendencies in the Russian sociology. The authors link the crisis of the professional identity of sociologists to the retreat from the principle of theory-empiricism unity and consistent evidencebased approach. We discuss results of an empirical study that includes survey of 1829 research articles from the top Russian and international sociological journals. The most obvious differences are stated in such areas as structure of research articles; their theoretical and methodological background; transparency of research methods; use of advanced methods in statistical data analysis.

Keywords: Russian sociology; international sociology; sociological journals; sociological identity; professional culture; research methods; quantitative research; samples; methods of statistical data analysis

ikhaleva .N. Scientific research effectiveness in the context of academic leadership reproduction (54-65)

Abstract. The article attempts to build up a hierarchy of performance indicators of scientific activity, the upper part of which was exactly the same for all fields of science. A proposal for optimal approaches and tools for assesing effectiveness of science was made for the scientific community and for government as well. Also an approach was proposed to evaluate efficiency of scientific activity that allows to quickly evaluate this activity for large research organisations, entire regions and countries on the basis of macroeconomic indicators. It is suggested that decisive factor of effectiveness of science is quantitative and qualitative state of the layer of its leaders. Using Pareto principle and Russian research data carried out previously we show that today’s quantity is considerably less than would be expected basing on total number of scientists. Proposed are some approaches for government agencies to overcome this situation.

Keywords: Russian science; young scientists; effectiveness of science; Pareto principle; publications quoted; academic leaders; reproduction of scientific personnel

Smirnova .. Approaches to study international migration of high-skills specialists: mechanisms, outlook, effects (66-75)

Abstract. The increasing level of mobility confirms the internationalization of professional labor market. The article investigates different approaches to migration of high-quality specialists with main goal to present an overview of its main topics. As a particular case the situation in the Russian IT sphere is considered. It is shown how it is embedded in the whole picture and reflects main tendencies in this field. We discuss different theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches applied to the study of migration of high-quality specialists starting from brain drain/brain gain paradigm and proceeding to network approach, diaspora studies and transnationalism. The latter have significantly changed analytical perspective allowing for conceptual and empirical discoveries in migration studies and research of technological innovations.

Keywords: migration; immigration; “brain drain”; “circulation of brains”; transnationalism; migrant’s networks; high-quality specialists

 

RURAL SOCIOLOGY

Bondarenko L.V. Development of rural territories of Russia: estimates, opinions, expectations (76-82)

 Abstract. The article provides an analysis of the socio-economic condition of agriculture, the results of the expert survey of heads of rural local self-government and leaders of agricultural organizations. The estimation is suggested of changes in the Russian village, actual and expected contribution to the rural development, of state and Federal programs, of opinions on priorities of development.

Keywords: rural areas; government support; changes in the Russian village; state and Federal programs; migration attitudes; development priorities; regional policy 

Konev Y.M., Belonozhko M.L., Barbakov O.M. Social mood of rural residents in the south of Tyumen region (82-87)

Abstract. The article presents results of a study among rural population in the south of Tyumen region to gauge social well-being of the villagers, standards and quality of their life. Analysis of current agrarian reform allowed to identify main determinants of reform success in agricultural sector, revealing that the changes did not yield positive results due to the lack of social direction of transformations and consideration of the rural population needs. Both villagers and experts noted inefficient interaction between power structures and rural population in solving life problems, resulting, in their view, in decreased standard and quality of life. Ineffectiveness of regulations of relations in the socio-economic sphere, in turn, makes for low social, political and economic activity of rural population. Comparative analysis of the main results of the research and expert survey of managers in agricultural enterprises and power structures allowed to evaluate and identify causes of their low employment and economic activity and, on the basis of these findings, to make recommendations to power structures at all levels and forms of government.

Keywords: rural population; power structuires; social feeling; socio-economic issues; levels of co-operation

 

SOCIOLOGY OF CULTURE

Sikevich Z.V. Dynamics of the “image” of the past and present in the representations of people from Saint-Petersburg (88-97)

Abstract. In the article symbolical representations of St.-Petersburg people of Soviet and contemporary societies are considered, which were gathered by associative method and content-analysis. Data of 1996 and 2014 polls are compared, allowing to reveal dynamics of representations and maintenance of an image of the present. Conditionality of concepts and estimates is discovered to be due to the factor of belonging to generation of “Soviet people”, “Soviet children”, “post-Soviet people”. Special attention is paid to impact of Crimea return to Russia on the perception character of modern Russian society and state. The study found that Soviet society is seen to be generally better than the society of today. Assessment of society affects assessment of the people. If the Soviet man has pre-dominantely positive qualities, modern people feature negative qualities. Overall assessment of prevailing concepts is especially characteristic for the youth. Respondents do not see any difference between concepts of society and the state which is typical for traditionalist perception of the world. It was also found that perception of Soviet society is in 2014 subject to mythologizing due to the prevalence among respondents of those with no experience of life in the USSR who tends to evaluate it basing on indirect sources.

Keywords: symbol; associative method; modal association; content analysis; social representation; social time; image of Soviet time; image of modern time; sample; age factor; generation

Pokida A.N., Zybunovskaya N.V. Dynamics of the historical memory in the Russian society (results of sociological monitoring) (98-107)

Abstract. Historical memory plays a key role in strengthening unity of the basic spiritual values in mass consciousness, cultural, historical and spiritual heritage of the Russian people. Numerous factors contribute to status and trends in the historical memory in Russian society. The authors have conducted an extensive sociological monitoring of historical memory in Russian society for more than two decades. A series of research employing sociological methods to identify real, practical functioning of consciousness, attitudes and ratings of people, have resulted in information about the state of historical memory of Russians as one of the components of the spiritual situation in Russian society today. The article presents and analyses major results of the study of the current state of the historical memory in Russian society as well as the dynamics of changing historical perceptions and judgements. The article is structured into four parts. The first one outlines concepts of the historical memory. Following section dwells on peculiarities of formation of historical ideas and knowledge of the Russians including motives, information sources, age and gender preferences. The next section portrays population attitudes to a wide range of historical events, achievements/failures and personalities such as tzars, communist leaders, presidents and military commanders. The final section summarises reflection of different periods and events of history in modern Russian literature, on TV and in the press giving assessments of understating, objective interpreting or overstating their historical roles.

Keywords: historical memory; historical consciousness; tradition; patriotism; historical relics; the Great Patriotic War; falsifications

Korotetskaya L.V. Holocaust as a social and cultural construct of memory: trauma factor and victim position (107-117)

Abstract. The article deals with concept of Holocaust as social and cultural construct of memory and analyzes role and characteristics of victim role and victim narratives in general trauma discourse and in the context of Holocaust. Witness testimonies and related elements of victim-witness or “moral witness” are perceived as central and most valuable elements of trauma architecture both by historians and by society. Perception of the witnesses’ recollections as “authentic” depends largely on the fact whether these memories comply with the community values and norms shared in a particular society. The author proposes to define a broader victim group of the audience who identify themselves with Holocaust survivors and also go through a symbolic trauma. The central role of witnesses was enabled by victimization of global trauma discourse. At the same time, in Russia Holocaust victims are still pushed aside because of heroic narrative development in regards to Shoa representation.

Keywords: Holocaust; social memory; memory studies; historical policy; trauma; victim narrative

  

SOCIOLOGY OF FAMILY

Bezrukova O.N. Values of parenthood: structure, types, resources (118-127)

Abstract. The article conceptualizes structure of values of children and parenthood and analyzes links of respondents’ choice with particular parenting models. The article bases on surveys conducted in St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region comprising 20 focus groups of parents with children aged 14–17 based on family structure criteria (single-parent/two-parent), parenthood status, gender, religious self-identification (n = 186), 2 focus groups with teachers (n = 20), results of 3 surveys of parents in 2008, 2012 and 2013 (n = 2067). Discursive, comparative, correlation and factor analyses were used. Values of parenthood are regarded as a set of emotionally and culturally preconditioned steady beliefs about preferred models of reproductive, existential, socializing behaviors of parents aimed at having and bringing up children. Parenting values include paradigms in attitudes towards own and (or) step-children and parent role functions. The respondents’ choice of the socio-cultural model of family and parenting – traditional, joint, delegating and non-identified (situational) – was considered as a criterion of differentiation. Three types of parenting attitudes were formed: problems and risks; life mission; responsibility, duty and public recognition. Parents opting for traditional parenthood regard it as a moral duty and responsibility before the society. Joint families are characterized by optimism and balanced evaluation, delegating families – rational and pragmatic attitudes, non-identified families – anxiety and pessimism. The paper also analyzes value differences in parent attitudes and practices of helping children in difficult life situations. Conclusion: differences in parenting attitudes are preconditioned by degree of identification with the parent role, structure of individual and family resources of parents, peculiarities of socio-cultural and economical differentiation of families. The article suggests differentiated approaches to support parenting potential taking into account needs, possibilities, level of resources of parents.

Keywords: values of children and parenthood; parenthood; parenting models; attitudes and practices of helping children; orientation to adoption; social resources

Sizova I.L., Egorova N.Yu. Violence in schools in the context of family problems (128-131)

Abstract. The article discusses school violence. Absence of large-scale research in the country determined the choice of the questionnaire developed by German colleagues, adapted as a primary tool of survey in schools. The experience of conducting research in the Nizhny Novgorod schools showed that educational system is a closed one and is often unprepared to participate in polls, including those relating to urgent social problems. Research results also clearly indicate presence of violence in Russian school and allow us to estimate its extent. School violence is diverse in form: from “light” verbal version to fierce physical coercion; in the Nizhny Novgorod schools vandalism, violence against teachers, and other forms also exist. Experience of students’ participation in acts of violence is considered from the position of the aggressor as well as from the perspective of the victim; socio-demographic factors (type of school, gender, age) are taken into account. In the article destructive actions of students are analyzed from the point of view of family (socializing) experience. The family, as primary medium of forming child’s personality, creates social/regulatory parameters of his/her activity outside family, including the school. The research materials describe relationship with the parents of schoolchildren: subjective students’ opinion of the relationship with their close adults and parenting style; parental involvement in the school life of the child; communication style and methods of influence on the child. Nizhny Novgorod schoolboy/girl does not always feel secure within the family. His/her well-being and comfort is destroyed by ignoring his/her concerns and interests, by application of hard (using physical force) methods of influence. Analysis of the data demonstrates correlation between advantaged/disadvantaged practices of parent-child relations, and students’ involvement in the situation of school violence as both aggressor and victim.

Keywords: school violence; family problems; parent-child relationships; the experience of family socialization

 

NIZHNI NOVGOROD STATE UNIVERSITY CENTENNARY

Grudzinski A.O., Chuprunov .V. Strategic change of universities for enhancing competitiveness (132-140)

Abstract. Principles and technologies of the university’s strategic transformation aimed at enhancing its competitiveness among the world’s leading research and education centers are formulated. An analysis is presented of the preconditions for organizational change in Russian universities in the context of the emergence of world university rankings. It is noted that scientific and practical management methods that were previously applied only to market enterprises, including methods of change management, are currently applied to universities. The key strategy elements and activities for the university’s transition to a target-focused competitive state are described. We discuss specific features of the university’s organization as a “professional bureaucracy” that contribute to complexity of the change process. A case study is presented of strategic organizational changes in Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod, a participant of the “5–100 Program”. Key strategic objectives and technologies for organizational change of UNN over the past quarter century are described. The results of the “soft” restructuring of UNN based on the project-oriented approach are discussed. A description of the main elements (strategic initiatives) of the “roadmap” for UNN’s global competitiveness enhancement is given. The roadmap includes both standardized strategic initiatives aimed at producing competitive intellectual products in education, science and innovation, and unique initiatives to develop UNN’s specific competitive advantages.

Keywords: change management; strategic management; enhancing the competitiveness of higher education institutions; professional bureaucracy

 

 DISCUSSION. POLEMICS

Myasnikov A.G. Is it necessary to abandon civil society? (141-148)

Abstract. The article presents a critique of S.G. Kirdina institutional matrices theory according to which “civil society” is an ideologeme of West-European civilization not suitable for Russian society with its dominating X-matrix. An attempt to replace theory of “civil society” by a concept of “civic participation” is also exposed to criticism. Arguments are presented to protect institutions of private property and economic freedom as fundamental factors for the accelerated modernization of traditional X-societies, including the Russian one. The risks associated with the targeted increase of collectivist ideology and restriction of economic freedom in the Russian society are considered.

Keywords: civil society; civil participation; -Y institutional matrices; Russia; private property; power vertical; economic freedom

Kirdina S.G. Some problems of contemporary Russian sociological discourse (148-153)

Abstract. The paper delves into problems of academic discourse in contemporary Russian sociological community. One of the articles presented in SOCIS is analyzed as the case. Among the problems are tendentious interpretations of texts by other sociologists, unfair citing and lack of referencing Russian sociologists who work in the same field. The main causes of these problems are often due to either explicit or implicit “ideological bias” among researchers, “egoistic behavior” strategies, insufficient sociological education and continued “encapsulation” of the Russian sociological community in relation to world sociology.

Keywords: sociology; scientific discourse; scientific communication; Russia; the theory of institutional matrices; civil society; civic participation

 

FACTS. COMMENTS. NOTES

ishchuk S.N. Organizing entrepreneurial activity in the South of the Russian Far East: ethnic aspect (154-157)

Abstract. The paper presents results of interviews in summer 2013 with ethnic entrepreneurs living in the southern regions of the Russian Far East. It is shown that ethnic relations are important when entering new host society. Common ethnicity does not give any advantage in business operations even with fellow countrymen. Major driving force in business development is positive financial result. In most cases diaspora and ethnic entrepreneurs exist independently from each other. Some cooperation between entrepreneurs is possible while solving certain financial and organizational issues, but in general, diaspora does not affect business activities, so respondents. Ethnic entrepreneurship in the Russian Far East is not an enclave phenomenon targeted only at “narrow circle” of ethnic minority. Companies established here are focused on a wide range of consumers, including representatives of differing ethnic groups. An acute problem of business development at present is lack of specialists. Most respondents employ illegal migrants and see a deterioration of local workforce quality and a change in foreign workers employment. Main difficulties in business development at present are connected with quotas for immigrant labor.

Keywords: ethnic entrepreneurship; adaptation; labor migrants; ethnic relations; the Far East of Russia

Amirgaliev E.R., Nurkatova L.T. Socio-legal work with elderly people in Kazakhstan (158-160)

Abstract. The article examines the legal awareness of elderly citizens of Kazakhstan, their need for legal information and its accessibility problems. The study showed a low level of legal awareness of the elderly. The article analyzes law providing for possibility of obtaining free legal aid to the elderly, which remains unrealized. The authors believe that situation is a result of acts simulating social work with the elderly due to uncertainty of the strategic goals of the institute of social work.

Keywords: elderly people; legal information; social work 

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 Pismanik M.G. Kargina I.G. Sotsiologhitcheskiye refleksii sovremennogo religioznogo plyuralizma (Sociological reflections of contemporary religious pluralism). ., 2014 – reviewed by M.G. Pismanik (161-166)

 Dmitrieva .V. Obshtcghestvo i pravo: issledovatel’skiye perspektivy (Society and law: research perspectives) / Ed. by . ndakov. ., 2015 – reviewed by .V. Dmitriev (166-168)