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Socioprofessional Structure of Russian Population. Theoretical background, methods and some of the results of repeated surveys in 1994, 2002, 2006

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 31-12-2010
Мир России. 2007.  Т. 16. № 3. С. 3-49. 
Тематический раздел:
The representative survey of Russian economically active population conducted through November-December 2006 goes in line with our previous surveys. The aim of those was to provide reliable data on transition of Russian society to a new system of social stratification, which specifies a particular type of social structure in modern Russia. We regard the latter as a direct extension of the etacratic system, which existed in USSR. The previous surveys took place in 1994 and 2002 based on similar sample schemes and using similar indicators, the range of which varied according to current changes in social situation and former experience. Thus we now own a reliable and rather significant database which allows us to conduct a comparative study of the dynamics of social structure in post-socialist Russia and the underlying social processes. During the last 15 years the nature of social reproduction in Russia has undergone serious changes. Those have also affected the structure and population of different social groups. Besides, the system of status indicators, which determine an individual’s or a group’s position in the social hierarchy, has itself undergone transformation. In this paper we review some significant data, which reveal some of the particularities of social reality in the post-Soviet Russia and the hierarchy of social groups through 1994-2006.
In this research we are attempting to discover the real social groups and study their real economic, political and other resources (human, social and cultural capitals). We also draw our attention to the reproduction of these strata and individual social statuses and study the corresponding influence of various institutional factors.
Until now, the predominant approach in modern literature relies on the analysis of the data concerning nominal social strata and individual inter-generational (father-son, mother-daughter) and intra-generational (career) social migrations of individuals through nominal social positions. We aim at studying latent factors of reproduction of real social strata in transforming society, i.e. in the situation when “the list” and the characteristics of these social strata and groups are changing. In other terms, we switched from the analysis of statistic (nominal) groups, singled out by formal characteristics, to the analysis of real social reproduction of real social groups and strata. The unit of measure in this context is an individual.
We look at social institutions as the environment of existence, production and reproduction of individuals, forming social groups. This environment “charges” individuals with resources, which predetermine their social position and their position in social networks. In this connection we analyze the resources, created by the institutions of family and education. The first institutional factor is the family (parental families of respondents and their own families by the indicators of social status in the context of our conceptual approach – by affiliation with real social groups). Status is measured by the following integral indicators – authority, property, cultural capital. As the second institutional factor of social and demographic reproduction we use the institution of education, which has the following empirical indicators: standard of education of parents (both father and mother) by the moment of the beginning of respondent’s labor activity, standard of respondent’s education at various stages of his life (by the beginning of labor activity, at the age of 30, at the moment of the survey), and standard of education of his own family. The third factor is regional – peculiar combination of social institutions, which becomes apparent in the type of settlement, where a respondent lives.
In the current paper we constrain ourselves to a preliminary discussion of some of the results concerning the state and dynamics of social stratification in Russia on the basis of socioprofessional groups, which were constructed through occupational aggregations of RG-100 classificator, developed in earlier research of one of the authors of this project. In order to construct our hierarchy of socioprofessional layers we analyzed the differences, which arise in the resources and potentials of their members.
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