Bulletin of the Institute of Sociology (Vestnik instituta sotziologii)

2016, No 18



Golenkova Z.T. Presenting This Issue


Theme of the Issue: Status of Social Strataand Groups in the Regions of Modern Russia

Golenkova Z. T., Igitkhanyan E. D. Intellectuals in the Regional Space of Modern Russian Society: Development Dynamics

Abstract. This article addresses issues associated with analyzing the operation of a social group known as intellectuals (“intelligentsia”), which in this particular context is presented as a category of “specialists”. The word “intellectual” is commonly used in western literature, which implies a specialist of a creative trade. Examined are the main ways in which status characteristics are formed, strategic and orientation dynamics in various areas of life, the degree of involvement within the system of market relations, as well as the peculiarities attributed to labor migration mobility among this group. Without a doubt, it can be called a “reserve” of the middle-class, but it is not yet a true component of the latter. Attention is also paid to analyzing such concepts as social equality, freedom, unemployment. Emphasized is the fact that, within the new Russian reality, not only the social guidelines of those surveyed are transforming, but also their socio-psychological health. The processes examined occur in a certain social space, represented by the Buryatia republic, a region of the Russian Federation (in the Southern Federal District). Resorting to regional analysis is a significant step in the development of contemporary studies, for only such a basis can help us better understand the objective condition of both social structure in general, and separate social subjects, as well as their interpenetration and hierarchy.

Keywords: intellectuals, specialist, social status, labour market, social adaptation, mobility, financial situation.

Prokazina N.V., Alekseenok A.A., Kaira Yu.V. The Social Inequality Profile in the Central Federal Regions

Abstract. This article cites the results of a comparative analysis of the dynamics of economic-social, material-property, self-identification and leisure-recreational inequality criteria during the years 2011-2013 among the population of Bryansk, Lipetsk and Orel provinces. The population of each of these three regions is unsatisfied with the socio-economic situation. The amount of unsatisfied people among the population has increased by 5% during the period in question. The majority of the population considers that the socio-economic situation is not changing at all. Despite such assessments, and despite the generally negative dynamics of satisfaction with the socio-economic situation in the region, many respondents are hoping to improve their own well-being during the next year. In 2013 optimistic expectations have decreased insignificantly compared to 2011, the amount of pessimistic expectations have seriously decreased in two years, while the amount of conservative expectations have noticeably increased. Such contradictory results confirm the appropriateness of utilizing a multidimensional hierarchical approach, which became the basis for this study, since when we analyze the dynamics of social inequality based on various criteria we cannot obtain a comprehensive social portrait of inequality. Using a multidimensional hierarchical approach as a basis, a social portrait of inequality for the regional population was composed. As a result of analyzing its structure, identified were social groups which are unequal compared to one another in terms of material-property, socio-professional and self-identification criteria: the lowest group is called “extremely dysfunctional”; the below-average group – “dysfunctional”; the average group – “partially fortunate”; the above-average group – “fortunate”; and the highest group – “the most fortunate”.

Keywords: social inequality, social stratification, stratification criteria, social expectations, living standards, social profile.

Kosharnaya G. B., Karimova L. F. The Living Standards and Lifestyle of the Poor in a Regional Society

Abstract. Russia’s reforms which were conducted during the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21stcentury lead to serious changes in the structure of society, during the course of which we saw a drastic increase in the amount of poor people within modern Russian society’s social stratification structure. The transformation of modern Russian society’s social structure necessitates the evaluation of the living standards and lifestyle of poor people in regional society. This article is dedicated to analyzing the financial status of the main groups of poor people in the Penza region. Examined is social inequality, which has the greatest impact on the living standards of poor people. Addressed are such matters as levels of poverty and income. Based on publications by Russian sociologists, as well as a conducted study on the issue of social inequality, determined were the main reasons and factors that affect the risks which lead the population to poverty. Substantiated is the conclusion that currently an increase in the amount of poor people, as well as the latter’s financial status, is seriously influenced by unemployment, high rates for housing services and low salaries. It was established that a serious increase in female poverty compared to male poverty is also inherent to the contemporary stage of Russian society’s development. The results of the study show that poor people are almost completely devoid of the opportunity to use paid educational and healthcare services. Such conditions render impossible the solid socialization of children from poor families, the realization of their potential abilities, as well as their intellectual development. Thus the issue of enduring poverty takes a significant negative toll upon the reproduction of human capital among the population of Russia’s society. Careful attention is paid to analyzing the dynamics of poverty on a regional level: said analysis revealed a decrease in the living standards of poor people in cities, and an increase in rural areas. Analyzing the main approaches towards quantifying poverty levels in contemporary Russia does not allow for attaining definitive results, and therefore to achieve more accurate results a combined method of examining poverty is utilized in this article, based on combining three approaches: absolute, relative and subjective. Based upon the results of the study, this article defines the necessary socio-economic resources for overcoming conditions of poverty in the region, and also formulates the main directions for socially supporting the poor.

Keywords: poverty, poor people, borderline poor, living standards and lifestyle, social support

Golenkova Z. T., Goliusova Y. V. The Russian Precariat: Human Capital Accumulation of Different Age Groups

Abstract. This article examines the issue of weak involvement among Russia’s informally employed population in the process of accumulating human capital by means of receiving higher or additional education, as well as adaptation to labor market conditions within various age and status groups. A sign of our times has become the fact we currently see at the forefront such things as knowledge capital in all of its forms, together with migration capital, which allow for individuals to travel through time and space while utilizing the knowledge that they constantly receive. This knowledge becomes associated with its practical use, i.e. the way people use it in their everyday activities. “Precarious” people may include those who are employed under a temporary labor or civil contract, those who work without in any way formalizing their labor relations, seasonal laborers, young specialists-interns (generally fresh out of college), as well as the so-called NEET youths (“not in education, employment or training”), who are employed neither in the educational system, nor on the labor market. In Russian sociological practice it is possible to operationalize part of the precariat via officially formalized full time employment based on a labor contract with one’s main place of work. Of course, this is not the only such highlighting criterion, but its credibility can not be subject to doubt, for this parameter is reflected in official statistics. “Precarious” people do not see the need to increase their individual human capital, they do not use the system of continuous education to enhance it, and they are quite passive and inert. Young specialists agree to make concessions when it comes to their salary expectations if it helps them achieve a stable status on the labor market. Flexibility is the main quality which can lead to stability. The higher the level of education and the amount of human capital a certain individual has – the more stable status he possesses, and the less he is prone to spontaneous and hasty decisions. Also examined are the likely consequences of a lack of interest for education among “precarious” groups of Russian society.

Keywords: precariat, human capital, education, higher education, professional development, young professionals, NEET-young people, the danger of ressentiment.

Karakhanova T. M., Bolshakova O. A. Laborers Time Budget as a Reflection of Their Actual Behavior in Everyday Life

Abstract. This article is dedicated to issues of time use among laborers – a large social group within the country’s population. Its empirical basis includes data from studies which are composed of 50 years of observation in the field of studying laborers’ time budget (1965-2014). Up until 1998 surveys were conducted using a uniform method under the supervision of V. D. Patrushev. In 2014 research was conducted at 8 industrial enterprises located in five Russian regional capitals: Bryansk, Vladimir, Kirov, Omsk and Pskov. However, time budget was examined in only three of them: Vladimir, Omsk and Pskov. Not only objective data on time-use was utilized in the analysis, but also the laborers’ subjective assessments concerning various aspects of their own everyday activities. The article consists of five chapters: a general evaluation of time use among laborers in 2014; working hours and types of activities associated with work; domestic labor and other household activities (unpaid labor); leisure time as a resource for regenerative and developmental activities; the dynamics of laborers’ time use and tendencies for changes in everyday activities from 1965 to 2014. The article examines the actual behavior of laborers in various typical groups of everyday activities, while also analyzing the structuring of daily and weekly time reserves, including its differentiation depending on the gender of those surveyed. Laborers’ working hours are thoroughly evaluated, as well as their structure, while attempting to assess labor intensity. Revealed is the general and specific behavior of laborers who work for enterprises located in territories which are part of the Central, North-West and Siberian federal districts. Analyzed are the dynamics of laborers’ time use, and formulated are conclusions concerning the direction for changes in their actual behavior: labor, regenerative and developmental during a period from 1965 to 2014. Revealed is the authors’ standpoint when it comes to the government’s social policies, and when it comes to what should be considered keeping in mind laborers’ actual behavior in their everyday activities.

Keywords: laborers, time budget, working hours, domestic labor, leisure time activities, labor activities, regenerative activities, developmental activities, tendencies for change.

Gorina T. I., Kefeli V. B. Issues Attributed to the Employment of Disable People: A Regional Aspect

Abstract. This article examines the issues and problems attributed to the employment of disabled people on the labor market, issues with their integration into society, while examining the needs of disabled people in various aspects of life. At this point analyzing the problem of disability as a social phenomenon shows that our society, which has gone through a lengthy period of isolating people with disabilities, has come close to acknowledging the relevance of this matter, with it being a consequence of disorder in our society as a whole. While guiding the handicapped towards an active stand on life, the government itself was unable to overcome the contradictions between the legislation and the labor market. While the market was undergoing a transformation, Russian social policies concerning handicapped employment were revised not in favor of the disabled: cancelled were tax benefits, while a job quota system was in effect, new workplaces with the proper working conditions were not being established, and employers would violate the employment rights of the disabled. Ultimately those serious obstacles which exist today and do not allow for the handicapped to realize their right to work have exacerbated the problem of social inequality. Attention is drawn towards issues attributed to utilizing handicapped labor in private and public organizations, the motives for employing them, as well as the problems of labor and legal awareness. The study revealed that many disabled people aspire towards labor and independence. However, they have serious difficulties finding a job and are in need of help. Most of those surveyed view not only their current state in a negative light: they also have a pessimistic outlook on the future, since they think that there are no opportunities for them in life. This article traces the role and importance of state employment service (SES) when it comes to the matter at hand.

Keywords: handicapped, social policy, labor market, integration, social citizenship, labor adaptation, the right to a job and job security, employment service.


Technosphere and Social Processes

Shapovalova I. S. Technosphere of Russia:Problems and Risks of Development

Abstract. This article pays close attention to the ever growing role of the modern techno-sphere in forming mankind’s living environment. Attention is focused on the uncontrollable nature of its transformation, its nonlinear development, and certain difficulties when it comes to evaluation and predictions. A scientific problem is brought forward, namely the need to search for mechanisms which would allow predicting and evaluating the way anthropogenic manifestations affect humankind’s current living environment, as well as to generate scientific algorithms for calculating situations in the system of vectors within the evolutionary movement of the techno-sphere. Presented within the scope of the matter are the results of analyzing an All-Russian expert survey, conducted in 2015 by the Belgorod National Research University’s Sociological Study Center. The results of this study allowed establishing the frequency and probability for the occurrence of anthropogenic emergency situations in various regions, the suitability of the safety level for Russia’s techno-sphere, as well as indexing the threat level for specific emergency situations and defining the true indicators for the susceptibility of economic sectors and anthropogenic emergency situations to the influence of technogenous factors. Data from the sociological study are refracted through the functional peculiarities of two types of regions: with minimal and maximal technogenous risk. This article thoroughly analyzes all the measures that are taken in Russia for reducing and preventing technogenous threats and catastrophes. Examined are groups of measures according to their degree of efficiency. Analyzed is the possibility of implementing a group of measures for each emergency situation and each field of the techno-sphere. In addition to evaluating techno-sphere manifestations in general, successfully established were indexes for the effects that the techno-sphere has on the emergence of social risks. Ultimately the general risk-capacity of the modern techno-sphere was determined, while also stressing the need to create means of prediction and systems that would allow making decisions for rational and effective control over the modern technological environment.

Keywords: techno-sphere, emergency situations, technogenous factors, techno-sphere safety, risk-capacity, social risks.


Russia and Mongolia: Similarities and Peculiarities

Rodionov V. A. Mongolia at the Turn of XX–XXI Centuries:A Case of Post-Socialist Transformation

Abstract. This article examines the drastic changes in society which occurred in Mongolia at the turn of the 21stcentury. One of the key concepts used in this article is “post-socialist transformation”. The purpose of this term is to explain the existence of common historic and spatial characteristics among countries which relinquished socialism as a social model and instead accepted capitalism as an alternative social ideal. While examining this phenomenon in Mongolia, together with those formal institutional changes in politics and the economy which accompany transformation, equal importance was attributed to analyzing the discursive nature of post-socialism, i.e. the manner in which the processes occurring were perceived and interpreted. The Mongolian phenomenon primarily consists of the fact that it turned out to be the only former socialist state in Asia which took the path of simultaneously reforming both the political and economic sector, utilizing the experience of Eastern-European post-socialist states and Russia as a basis. After relinquishing socialism, Mongolia began to accept capitalism as a new ideal model, while maintaining a modernist outlook on its history, its present and its future. Democracy as a central concept of post-socialist transformation in Mongolia is considered to be the main measure of modernity and progress, which separates “advanced nations” from “underdeveloped countries” in terms of social development. The democratic revolution of 1989-1990 is considered to be some sort of “watershed” which separates development from underdevelopment. The period of socialism in Mongolia’s history is considered to be a manifestation of underdevelopment: it is presented as a pre-modern or even an anti-modern era, based on denying the values of modernity. Meanwhile the idea of democracy was perceived by Mongolian society with extreme diffusiveness and controversy. Some associated democracy with freedom – in the broad sense of that word. Others, who denounced the system of benefits for the party nomenclature, saw an opportunity for social justice in democracy. Such phenomenon as rehabilitating history and religion, as well as changing foreign-policy strategy, are viewed as attributes of the country’s democratization, while democracy in itself became interconnected with such phenomena as “nation” and “sovereignty”.

Keywords: Mongolia, post-socialist transformation, democracy, modernity.

Aktamov I. G. The Mining Industry in the Cross-Borders Regions of Russia and Mongolia: Social and Environmental Aspects

Abstract. The Republic of Buryatia (RB) is a unique subject of the Russian Federation both in terms of its natural-climatic and geographical conditions, and in terms of its distinctive socio-cultural environment. The most recognizable natural object not only in Russia, but all around the world, is rightfully considered Lake Baikal, its flora and fauna. The socio-cultural peculiarities of this republic are reflected in the traditionally friendly relations between various ethnic groups. The ethnic composition of the RB population consists of various ethnic groups – Buryats, Russians, Tatars, Evenks, Ukrainians, Armenians, Azerbaijani, Koreans, Chinese and others. Recent years have shown an increasing interest towards bilateral cooperation between Russia and the PRC when it comes to politics, economy, security, cultural aspects and education. Mongolia plays a significant part in this cooperation: it has been developing its foreign policy with its two neighbors based on the geopolitical and geo-economic situation. Since Soviet times the Republic of Buryatia has been developing its industries with the main focus being the mining of minerals – coal, copper, tungsten. During the modern stage of development many industrial enterprises which used to extract and process raw material were shut down. A fundamentally new stage for the ore-mining industry came with the start of exporting greenstone to China. In this case the government was not exactly ready to become the main player in this industry. This lead to the development of semi-legal and illegal economic activities in this particular sphere, and this affected the social sector in areas where greenstone was extracted. Pretty much the same situation can be observed in Mongolia when it comes to the process of extracting and selling placer gold. The South Gobi province of Mongolia is famous for its rich deposits of coal, gold and copper. The key role in selling raw material has been assigned to Mongolia’s southern neighbor – China. Virtually all the coal which is extracted in the South Gobi province is then exported to the PRC. This brings a certain imbalance when it comes to economic partners abiding to market relations. In this article we made an attempt to analyze the peculiarities of those social effects attributed to the development of the trans-border regions of Russia and Mongolia, as well as the state’s role in developing this economic sector, trans-border cooperation, and non-formal practices among social groups and their role in forming individual life strategies.

Keywords: mining industry, trans-border regions, social effects, Russia, Mongolia.

Badaraev D. D. The Traditional Economic Practices of Mongolian-Speaking Nomads: Livestock Farming in Adjacent Territories of Mongolia and Russia

Abstract. This article is dedicated to the current condition of livestock farming, which is a traditional economic practice of nomads in Mongolia’s and the Republic of Buryatia’s (Russian Federation) neighboring territories. Noted is a common ancestry, and a common ethnic and cultural identity between Buryats and Mongols, as well as some distinctive features attributed to their modern stage economic structure. Revealed are the main factors which influenced the sedentarization (a transition from a nomadic lifestyle to a sedentary one) of the former nomads, which lead to changes in the Buryats’ lifestyle. The article cites statistical data, results from comprehensive sociological field studies, as well as secondary analysis of studies conducted by those who represent related scientific disciplines – economists, ecologists, geographers, etc. Based on these studies a general picture of the condition of livestock farming in rural areas of Buryatia and Mongolia is presented. Results from sociological studies show how market mechanisms affect the current everyday lives of Mongol nomads, selling livestock products, as well as the activation of migratory processes. Observed are the negative effects that the ore-mining industry has on the state of pastures and wells. Despite the existing difficulties, livestock farming in Mongolia is rapidly developing, with an annual increase in livestock population, thus there are no expectations for the disappearance of nomadic livestock farming and pastoralism in the near future. Active attempts to restore traditional economic practices associated with nomadic livestock farming are underway in Buryatia. Substantiated are the ecological safety, low-cost and efficiency of conducting nomadic livestock farming in the harsh, sharply continental natural-climatic conditions of Siberia and Mongolia. The existing difficulties within the agro-industrial and agricultural sectors of Buryatia’s economy, as well as a lack of clear prospects for the development of rural areas, lead to a decrease in social facilities, deteriorating social infrastructure and a massive relocation of the rural population to cities. In light of this situation certain problems occur when it comes to reviving traditional nomadic livestock farming in the region. The existence of vast unused territories, an emerging interest among the rural population for reviving native breeds of livestock, and the emergence of target programs for the development of rural areas give reason to believe that realizing the potential for developing nomadic livestock farming in Buryatia’s agricultural sector is very much possible.

Keywords: nomads, nomadic livestock farming, lifestyle, trans-border territories, Mongolia, Buryatia.


Migrants in West European Countries

Sokolova V. M. Knowing a Language as a Resource for Migrants’ Integration. Spain’s Experience

Abstract. This article examines the value of knowing a language, which can be considered a resource during the process of migrants adapting and subsequently becoming integrated into multi-ethnical societies. Examined is Spain’s experience in studying this problem. Presented is a brief overview of migratory movements on the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the country’s linguistic situation, which directly influences the adaptation and integration process for migrants from various ethnic groups. The analysis resulted in identifying the distinctive features of the integration of Spanish speaking immigrants, as well as in determining the various functions of a language in the integration process for Spanish speaking and non Spanish-speaking immigrants. Based on reviewing studies by Spanish sociologists, revealed is the value of knowing the language of the host society when it comes to social and cultural adaptation. The article highlights two stages of people with various ethnic backgrounds immigrating to Spain. During the first stage (which took place in the 1960’s and 1970’s) immigrants amounted to only 1% of the country’s population, and they were mostly composed of people from other European countries. The end of the 1990’s marked a rapid increase in the influx of immigrants, and certain shifts occurred in their ethnic composition. An increased migratory flow from Latin American countries was observed. Thus immigrants became divided into Spanish-speaking and non Spanish-speaking, which posed the problem of unequal conditions for adapting and integrating into the host society. On one hand, knowing Spanish gave people from Latin America a certain advantage, on the other hand – Spanish-speaking immigrants had to adapt to the language situation in specific territories within the multicultural nation of Spain. Linguistic differences, which are present in the Spanish language and its multiple versions, become especially crucial when it comes to the adaptation of migrants. This article pays close attention to the way various versions of the Spanish language are perceived. Revealed is the fact that self-identification plays a major role in the integration of Spanish-speaking migrants. Meanwhile, the national version of the Spanish language becomes the determining factor when it comes to characteristics of group affiliation. The nature of migration, economic or personal (family reunification), also influences the adaptation or deep integration into the host environment. In modern conditions, when Russia’s society is dealing with issues such as regulating the influx of migrants (as well as their adaptation), examining the Spanish manifestations of these processes might become an additional resource when it comes to improving integrative processes in Russia.

Keywords: adaptation, socio-linguistic integration, language, Spanish-speaking and non Spanish-speaking migrants, perception, identity.


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