Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

2016, No 17



Khaliy I. A. Presenting This Issue (9-11)


The Theme of the Issue: Consolidation of the Society

Karmadonov O. A., Kovrigina G. D. The resource aspects of social conjunction (12-28)

Abstract. This article is dedicated to the issue of perfecting the theoretic-methodological and analytical tools used to examine matters of social consolidation, social integration, social solidarity and unity. Emphasized is how the phenomena of consolidation and social reproduction are conjugated, with the latter being a natural result of the former. Social reproduction refers to reproducing the social fabric of a community, i.e. historic and socio-cultural continuity. Described is a streaming model of social consolidation, assuming the presence of horizontal and vertical vectors of social integration, while the peculiarities of each “stream” are characterized in terms of their dynamics and comprehensiveness. A characteristic is given and conditions are outlined for the emergence of such phenomena as an “inertial state” and an “inertial society”. It is proven that all processes associated with the creation of a unified, consolidated society can be described using categories of the social conjunction conception, which provides the analytical tools needed to examine social solidarity issues both in their theoretical and applied aspects. Also emphasized is the fact that said conception must be broadened by including such categories into its analytical toolset as “conjunctive resources”, which in itself is a system of social practices within one field of society or another (including the socio-cultural field), which possess a positive potential for its consolidation. It is argued that conjunctive resources specifically associated with the socio-cultural field are of particular importance to social reproduction, especially such components like civilization and space, civic activism, state policy and symbolic systems. Taken into consideration is the fact that within each field of social relations “conjunctive effects” can be registered, referring to the results of consolidation practices, as well as “disjunctive risks”, them being a threat created by certain destructive practices, and finally “perspective conjunctions”, referring to overdue but yet to be activated initiatives, which are formed based upon a combination of several different practices and which are oriented towards achieving a potential conjunctive effect. A single conjunctive code, or an ideology as a symbolic outlook system which integrates a society, acts as the most generalized result of a series of particular conjunctions.

Keywords: social consolidation, social reproduction, streaming model, social conjunction, conjunctive resources

Zakharova O. V. Strategies for Representing the “Consolidation” Category in the Russian President’s Conjunctive Discourse (2000–2015) (29-45)

Abstract. Given their special place in the field of creating meanings and their interpretations, government leaders have the opportunity to offer society a certain set of consolidation values, therefore setting the basis for molding any desired form of solidarity within a society. In light of this fact, analyzing official conjunctive discourse seems to be promising, since it would enable identifying what sort of consolidation is broadcasted to society, as well as defining the tendencies for the development of conjunctive processes. This article displays a reconstructed model of consolidation which is broadcasted to Russian society via the discourse of Russia’s current president V. Putin. Careful attention is paid to analyzing strategies for representing the concepts of “consolidation” and “solidarity”, as well as their substantial component. A discursive-historic approach developed by an Austrian scientist named R. Wodak was used while conducting this research. The research base is mostly built upon V. Putin’s annual speeches given to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, which pose special interest to the goals of the analysis in question, considering that they reflect the main tendencies and changes in the current political course. The analytical case also includes other public speeches given by V. Putin, which were dedicated to consolidating society. The study concludes that consolidation within the examined rhetoric is presented, for the most part, as an act of civic responsibility, expressed by the population’s loyalty to its leader and his political course, and as one of the key conditions for Russia’s socio-economic development and for ensuring its national security, so therefore it is a component which comprises the notion of patriotism. The article comes to the conclusion that, although the examined conjunctive discourse undoubtedly serves a purpose of mobilizing the majority with their leader, regardless, it cannot provide long-term social consolidation, for it exacerbates aggression and violence in society instead of developing conjunctive communication. Therefore, as concluded by the author, such an approach only creates the illusion of social consolidation, while leaving real problems of social disintegration outside the boundaries of social discourse.

Keywords: political discourse, consolidation, solidarity, discourse analysis, conjunction, discursive-historic approach, discursive strategies

Babintsev V. P. The Problems of Consolidation in Local Communities (46-65)

Abstract. This article analyzes the possibilities for consolidating local communities, the term referring to those who live in different municipal formations, ranging from a rural settlement to a city district. Evidence is brought forth to support the notion that the need for consolidation is defined by the purpose of local community reproduction, together with increasing its competitive capacity. Consolidation is seen as the process and result of inhabitants reaching an agreement with one another, establishing relations based on mutual trust and cooperation in conditions where social differentiation indeed exists. The practice of implementing a “Strategy for creating a regional solidary society” in Belgorodskaya province during the course of the last five years is used as a basis to prove that the consolidation of a society begins specifically on a local level with the establishment of trustful relations within a neighborhood/family territorial commune. What kick-starts the consolidation process on a local level appears to be the phenomenon of solidarity as a mass-consciousness guideline. This includes three interconnected principles: first of all – the intention to act according to what is fair; second – loyalty, which in itself is, according to T. Parsons, the willingness to react to a properly “justified” call made on behalf of the group, or in the name of social interests or necessity; third – the voluntary willingness and ability to take responsibility for your actions in accordance to legal and moral standards. Analyzing the results of the monitoring study “Evaluating the effectiveness of implementing the “Strategy for creating a regional solidary society”, which was conducted in the region from September to October 2015 by the social technology department of the Belgorod State National Research University (n = 1000 respondents, multi-stage and quota sampling), has shown that diminishing possibilities for consolidation on a local level have to do not only with social differentiation in municipal formations, but also with a significant proportion of values such as fairness and loyalty being discredited in the minds of the populace, together with a low level of institutional and interpersonal trust.

Keywords: local community, municipal formation, municipal authority, solidarity, fairness, social conjunction, social disjunction, consolidation, loyalty


Social Strata and Groups: The Potential of Innovation Activity

Kozyreva P. M., Smirnov F. I. The Preconditions and Problems 0f Partaking in Innovational Activities (66-90)

Abstract. This article looks into matters which reveal the preconditions, characteristics and troubles of taking part in innovational activities by those economically active members of Russian society who have the most professional training. Analysis is based upon data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of the population’s economic welfare and health, conducted by the Higher School of Economics’ Scientific Research Institute (RLMS-HSE). It has been established that aspiration towards active participation in innovational activities is demonstrated only by a relatively small amount of qualified professionals, while most people accept the role of passive doers. It has been revealed that the willingness of qualified workers to partake in innovational activities depends on several factors, including what sort of professional activities are in question, as well as how the workers’ experience and knowledge are used, and to what extent the level of education they receive corresponds with the demands of their current jobs. A connection between entrepreneurial and innovational activity has been shown, and revealed are differences in how well-developed are professionally significant qualities depending on whether people are keen to partake in innovational activities. Close attention is paid to the fact that a large portion of workers with higher or secondary professional education are experienced in taking on a new specialty, and have at a certain time mastered the use of new work methods and new equipment. Many have developed and promoted propositions for improving manufactured products or the production process at their main or secondary workplaces. However, innovational activities were often the result of the nature of people’s professional activities, as well as it being necessary to carry out their direct duties. Nonetheless, it is currently essential to achieve balanced development of personnel potential in its entirety, as well as to engage a wide range of workers into active and initiative participation in innovational activities, and to use the creative potential of the working population to its fullest.

Keywords: innovation, innovational activities, qualification, modernization, professionalism, social adaptation, human capital

Karavay A. V. The Human Capital of the Russian Working Class: Status and Factors (91-112)

Abstract. Presented in this article are the results of analyzing the main characteristics of general and specific human capital of the Russian working class. Based upon data from the “Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of the population’s economic welfare and health” for the year 2014, it is shown that qualitative changes took place in the beginning of the 1990’s when it came to workers receiving general secondary education, when a 9-year education cycle, which had become as standard for them, effectively eliminated the possibility for them opening a new career path further down the line. The results of this study also bring us to the conclusion that a general de-professionalization of the Russian working class had occurred, since older generations surpass young workers in terms of professional training, while finding a job based on the specialty received at an educational institution is quite a rare thing in this particular professional environment. Advanced training via additional educational programs among workers is more of an exception than a rule. Given these conditions, where the internet has found its way everywhere, and where we are exposed to ever growing opportunities for receiving knowledge at a distance – quite often for free – the working class has found itself to not be a part of these processes, due mostly to the fact that they lack the attitude for increasing the quality of their human capital. Furthermore, knowledge and qualification are not considered by the majority of Russian workers to be important components for succeeding in life, and even those who do strive towards increasing their human capital choose professional trajectories which are ineffective for this task. This article also shows that all factors associated with human capital in general do not significantly influence workers’ wages in any given field. In the end low quality of human capital among the majority of workers is in fact their own reaction to the behavior of their employers, and not only a consequence of their attitude towards their own education. So if employers and even the state are not interested in investing into the working class’ human capital, one should not expect them to aspire towards expanding their own knowledge and independently funding their own education, especially given their relatively low income.

Keywords: workers, resources, human capital, the working class, young workers, education, resource-based approach, innovative economy, qualified workforce, additional professional education, modernizing production

Chorosova O. M. Yakutian Teachers’ Continuous Professional Education and Adaptation Issues in Current Conditions (113-128)

Abstract. This article sheds light on such issues as teachers’ continuous professional education, associated with the latter’s adaptation qualities in current conditions of transformation, its significance when it comes to intercultural collaboration, and its role in the professional and personal growth of teachers from the Sakha Republic (Yakutia); also cited is data from a sociological survey conducted among Yakutian teachers who took part in a remote interactive training program. This article examines such issues as teachers’ professional health within the context of current transformational processes associated with continuous teacher training in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). In this respect, a comparative approach towards examining the current state of continuous professional training for adults from north-east Russia, the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and northern circumpolar states (the US state Alaska, Canada; educational institutions – members of the University of the Arctic) presents some interest. A comparative study of the professional and personal health of teachers who work at schools in Yakutia (elementary, general and senior levels), as well as in northern circumpolar states, with the aim to subsequently work out a strategy for developing a regional integrative system of continuous pedagogical training as one of the mechanisms for effectively organizing the process of adapting to modern conditions, looks to be relevant indeed. In order to compare the results, a set of tools was used from sociological surveys conducted in the 2000’s, specifically – the one used in the following studies: “Examining the professional and personal health of teachers from the Sakha Republic (Yakutia)” (2000, O.M. Chorosova, A.S. Postnikov); “Teachers in an evolving society” (2005, O.M. Chorosova, U.A. Vinokurova, R.E. Gerasimova). We can observe rather drastically differing opinions when examining the answers given to questions – ranging from high appreciation to extremely negative assessments. Since the poll was anonymous, it is impossible to determine the possible reasons for such an effect: we know nothing about the age, work record or position of the respondents, which would have, based on age and experience, allowed us to claim that young specialists have not adapted sufficiently to their profession, or, on the contrary, that older and more experienced teachers have demonstrated symptoms associated with emotional “burnout”. Despite this, the answers that were obtained do paint a certain picture, and an objective one at that, since it shows the entire spectrum of teachers’ attitudes and opinions, including complete indifference, emotional disregard for their profession.

Keywords: adult education, adaptation, continuous professional education, culture, value, growth, comparative study, education as an asset


Terrorism in the Sociological Dimension

Ilchenko O. Y. Women and Terror: Women Participating in Terrorist Movements (130-141)

Abstract. This article examines the issue of women partaking in terrorist activities. A distinguishing features of the new wave of terrorism, which began at the end of the 20th century and continues to this day, is getting women actively involved in terrorist activities. The article cites analysis of sociological studies dedicated to female participation in terror, while describing the social portrait of female suicide-bombers. Aside from that, this article showcases the peculiar motivations of women who partake in terrorist activities. Academic literature features two contradictory opinions on the motives behind the behavior of female terrorists: some presume that the motivation to partake in terrorism is the same for both men and women, while others suppose that the nature of female terrorism drastically differs from its male counterpart. In the meantime, several explanations are used as “stamps” and transcend from one publication to the next. The author offers two groups of motives for female terrorists, based on data from sociological studies. It is shown that the first group incorporates motives based on a woman’s independent decision to join a terrorist movement (psycho-emotional aspects, a desire to earn some money, development of feminism and aspiring towards self-affirmation). The second group is comprised of motives which imply women joining terrorist organizations by force (blackmail, being directly forced by their husbands or a religious leader, being manipulated by their desire to avenge the loss of someone close, narcotic or psychotropic intoxication). The author comes to the conclusion that, whatever the motives may be for female suicide bombers, these are people who have nothing to lose, and for who nothing is of any value in this life. Using women in our modern world has become a technological element utilized by terrorists to wage war, therefore it is necessary to find a way to prevent women’s involvement in terrorism, and to concentrate on averting the recruitment of new women.

Keywords: terrorism, women terrorism, women suicide bombers, gender

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