Institute of Sociology
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

SOTSIOLOGICHESKIJ ZHURNAL

(SOCIOLOGICAL JOURNAL)

2016. Vol. 22. No.2

 

THEORY AND METHODOLOGY

Svetlana G. Klimova, Maria A. Mikheyenkova, Viktor K. Finn The JSM-method in qualitative sociological research: the fundamentals and experience in use (8-30)

Abstract. This article outlines the ideology and the basic principles of the JSM Method created by V.K. Finn and his colleagues. This method already has an extensive application background when it comes to solving sociological problems. The first experiments were carried out in 1997–1998, and since then this method’s possibilities and limitations have been defined, important procedural solutions have been found which allow sociologists to explore sociological patterns based on formalized analysis of various sorts of empirical data (materials surveys, statistics, and observations). The article shows how the JSM Method in its version for solving sociological problems (formalized qualitative analysis of sociological data — FQASD) differs compared to qualitative comparative analysis, which was developed by American sociologist C. Ragin. Methodical solutions are illustrated by examples of empirical studies conducted utilizing this method. One of the tasks was situation analysis (analyzing the context of the examined process). It was fulfilled based on materials from a study of a certain integral feature of labor behavior (namely — employee “stability-loyalty”). Certain parameters which describe the labor market in the city have shown what said feature depends on. The second task was analyzing the internal structure of a certain integrated sociological feature, examining the structure of the “job satisfaction” concept as an example. A certain empirical regularity has been revealed using the JSM Method: job satisfaction may include dissatisfaction with the majority (and sometimes all) of the labor situation parameters. A conclusion is made on the possibilities of using the JSM Method in empirical sociological research. In particular, the JSM-method helps verify the validity of the meaning of those generalization concepts used by the analyst, as well as permit the inclusion of varying types of data into analysis (including non-numeric), and, finally, identify behavior determinants.

Keywords: qualitative analysis; situational analysis; JSM Method; mathematical logic; behavior determinants; context; integral characteristics

Raisa E. Barash Analyzing the multiculturalism crisis in light of the systematic sociological theory (31-54)

Abstract. The author examines the European “multicultural fiasco” from the point of view of the systematic sociological theory. Appealing to such aspects of the sociological system theory as “self-description”, “differentiation” and “double contingency” allows explaining the underlying reasons for the intercultural dialogue fiasco, and the tragic manifestations ofEurope’s unsuccessful "wide open arms" attitude. Referring to the works of T. Parsons and N. Luhmann, the author suggests viewingEurope’s attempt to build a multicultural community as self-differentiating subsystems adjusting to one another, and also ponders to what extent the need to build a multicast society lead to the host community facing a self-description crisis. Examining European multiculturalism development’s long term background brings the author to the conclusion that one-sided self-differentiation on behalf of the host majority, given the situation when they are prepared for internal changes under the influence of increasing external diversity and minorities tending to be communicatively isolated, is insufficient for stable internal communications among European societies’ social systems. Also, the failure of European multiculturalism reflects the failed policy of unilateral self-differentiation, which inEuropewas accompanied by the host European culture’s crisis of self-description. The system theory somewhat successfully shows that the multicultural fiasco is in fact the failure of the double contingency between the host majority and the “guests”. While pondering alternatives for multiculturalism, the author notes that many European researchers sympathize with the concept of interculturalism (based on its "dialogical nature"). However, when analyzing Canadian experience in intercultural coexistence, the author concludes that, despite success in North America, the interculturalism strategy is not ideal for Europe. The author concludes that a more informative way to evaluate cross-cultural interaction strategies would be from a communication study standpoint — analyzing the successful establishment of communication and systems of self-description used by those who represent various communities.

Keywords: multiculturalism; interculturalism; communication; differentiation; self-description; double contingency; systematic sociological theory

 

SURVEYS, EXPERIMENTS, CASE STUDIES

Yulia A. Skokova The Movement of Election Observers in Russia: Role of NGOs as “Schools of Democracy” (55-72)

Abstract. The purpose of this article is to identify how Russian citizens’ participation in NGOs (both ‘isolated’ and ‘open’) affects their involvement in the movement of election observers and the intensity (frequency) of observations. A theoretical overview revealed the various ways non-profit organizations effect the development of democracy — positive (‘school of democracy’), negative and differentiated. Taking into account the diversity of Russia’s non-profit sector, the authors preferred the latter differentiated approach. Six hypotheses were formulated and tested about the way participation in NGOs effects citizens’ involvement in election observation and its intensity. The empirical basis for the paper is data from an All-Russian survey of the general population, as well as data from an online survey of election observers conducted in 2013. It was established that the probability of becoming an election observer is significantly higher among those whose experience in volunteering and NGOs is complemented by interpersonal trust. The authors also revealed that citizens’ who participate in ‘open’ NGOs are more likely to become election observers and have more intense experience in observation. Participation in ‘isolated’ types of NGOs does not affect involvement in election observation, but increases the intensity of it. In general, it is shown that Russian NGOs, within the context of research, do indeed have the potential to be ‘schools of democracy’.

Keywords: Non-government organizations; “school of democracy”; democracy; election observation

Natalia N. Sedova Russians’ life goals and strategies in a passionarity context (73-91)

Abstract. This article is dedicated to analyzing the transformation of Russians’ life values and attitudes during the course of the last decade. Examined are “activist” (passionate) and “passive” (laymen) models of mentality, as well as their development. The criteria which enable us to relate to one model or the other are defined by an inclination towards an outward or inward control locus, self sufficiency or dependence on the government, struggling or adapting to external circumstances. Using such an approach as a basis enables us to separate those who are “passionate” (who consistently identify themselves with “activist” type attitudes), “laymen” (who prefer “passive” attitudes) and those who belong to an intermediate group (with mixed attitudes). Analyzed are the peculiarities of how “passionaries” and “laymen” view the situation in the country, together with prospects for its development; the position these groups occupy within our society’s social structure; the characteristics they demonstrate when it comes to setting and achieving life goals; the potential for their adaptation during a period of crisis. The empirical basis for the study are all-Russian representative surveys conducted by the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IS RAS) and the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM), which took place in 2005. It is shown that activist/passionary values are associated with higher social status and financial success, a high level of life aspirations, a rational approach towards setting life goals, as well as the strategies for their achievement, and mastering life planning practices. A conclusion is drawn that “passionaries” are better integrated into social reality than most, and they are capable of partaking in the development of society, particularly during a period of crisis.

Keywords: values; attitudes; self sufficiency; independence; dependence; success; success rate; social group; life goals; responsibility; government; activism; activeness; passiveness; passionaries

Anna G. Istomina, Ella L. Starovoyt Organizational patterns of social Volunteerism in Germany and in Russia (92-109)

Abstract. This article shows the similarities and differences between social volunteering in Germany and in Russia when it comes to organizational patterns: volunteer recruiting procedures, contractual relationships between volunteer and organization, interactions between the volunteer and officials, volunteer coaching. The theory of volunteering styles by Hustinx and Lammertyn, together with the volunteer management model theory by Zimmeck, act as theoretical framework. The empirical basis for the article is composed of 25 semi-structured interviews with Russian volunteers working for German (12 interviews) and Russian (13 interviews) social organizations, which were conducted during April-May 2014 via Skype. It is shown that the organizational patterns of social volunteering which are prevalent in Germany are characterized by volunteer-centeredness and professionalism to a much greater extent than in Russia’s case. It is inferred that the differences between countries when it comes to organizational patterns reflect opposing trends: on one hand we see establishing regular patterns of involving and organizing volunteers to facilitate them shaping role identities which are understandable to them, on the other hand – instability of organizational patterns, which hampers internalizing any kind of specific role norms and clear-cut borders between them.

Keywords: organizational patterns of volunteering; styles of volunteering; volunteer management models; volunteer-centered initiatives

Grigory B. Yudin, Daria A. Oreshina Gift exchange and control of consumer credit in Russian Orthodox communities (110-134)

Abstract. This paper discusses factors how morally dense communities regulate the consumer debt of their members by enacting both financial and non-financial mechanisms. We rely on the gift exchange theory to demonstrate how communities with high social density morally regulate consumer behavior of their members. We use the data gathered during an empirical study of economic activities of the members of Orthodox parishes in four Russian cities and suggest the four-stage model of the influence of community on the motivation and behavior of potential borrowers. The four elements, in the order of importance, are regulation of wants, non-financial mechanisms of satisfaction of wants, gratuitous financial aid, and distributed solidary responsibility for consumer credit. In contrast to atomized individuals who act upon the moral principles of preserving independence and relying only on themselves, members of parishes are governed by different moral imperatives: they are encouraged to ask for help and to suggest it to others. This paper demonstrates that communities can operate as agents of natural social control over consumer credit by both inducing deliberation on financial decisions and distributing the risks associated with consumer borrowing.

Keywords: community; consumer credit; gift exchange; moral regulation; Orthodox parish

 

THE QUALITY STANDARDS OF SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Dmitry M. Rogozin Openness of method as an ethical norm. Translator’s foreword (135-142)

Abstract. This text precedes a translation of the Code of Professional Ethics and Practices of the American Association for Public Opinion Research – the base document for the polling industry, which defines the standards for conducting social and marketing research. The foreword’s author shows that the basic idea of the Code is that there is no need to regulate the moral principles for research, instead shifting emphasis towards revealing methodical information. While attempting to interpret the contents of the Code, the author comes to the following conclusions. The transparency and openness of research methodology are a necessary and sufficient condition for ethical behavior on the polling market. Such behavior is achieved by abiding to a certain set of rules: accurately and comprehensively describing procedures and research methods; a regular practice of registering all research circumstances; revealing accumulated material to those parties concerned.

Keywords: research ethics; public opinion polling; openness of methodic information; quality standards; standardized interview

AAPOR Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. (Revised November 2015). American Association for Public Opinion Research / Transl. by D.M. Rogozin (143-153)

  

ON THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF B.Z. DOKTOROV

Boris Z. Doktorov, Denis G. Podvoyskiy, Dmitry M. Rogozin The sixth generation of sociologists is already writing our history (154-178)

Abstract. The theoretical layer of this article acquaints its readers with a series of conceptual postulates and conclusions from the historical-sociological research conducted by B.Z. Doktorov which is based on interviews with Russian sociologists. The empirical chapter consists of fragments of interviews conducted by Doktorov with D.G. Podvoiskiy and D.M. Rogozin, which helps grasp the teaching style of G.S. Batygin and reveal certain features of his personality. In the generational typology of Russian sociologists, which is under development by Doktorov, Batygin belongs to the fourth professional generation, while Podvoiskiy and Rogozin belong to the sixth. The recollections of young sociologists about their mentor are an example of effective communication between generations within the sociological community, and they cover certain aspects of our modern history. The authors consider the article in question to be a respectful tribute to G.S. Batygin — a pioneer in applying the biographical method of studying the history of Russian sociology.

Keywords: the history of Russian sociology; generational typology of Russian sociologists; communication between generations; the biographical method; G.S. Batygin

 

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF I.I. TRAVIN

Boris Z. Doktorov Igor Travin: He began to study sociology consciously (April 17, 1936 – April 25, 2016) (179-180)

 

REVIEWS, SUMMARIES

Larissa A. Kozlova Exploring the “World of Vladimir Yadov”. New book and research approach of B.Z. Doktorov (181-186)

 

NEW RELEASES (187-190)