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Workers in Reforming Russia as a Subject of Sociological Research

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 31-12-2010
Мир России. 2006.  Т. 15. № 2. С. 79-107. 
The article reviews sociological publications of Russian researchers during the period of 1990-2004 on the topic “workers in Russia”. 58 articles were analyzed for the purpose of studying direct and indirect aspects of working behavior, working relations, social-economic status, and recusancy in workers’ behavior. The aim of the analysis was to reveal and classify data domain of the study, to define the existing methodological and methodical approaches, to disclose the image of workers set in articles and, finally, to present some perspective approaches according to the author’s mind of sociological research in the given area. 3 periods were revealed on the basis of the data domain analysis: 1. 1990-1993. The period of labor crisis and hopes for the capacity of market factors. 2. 1994-1999. The period of first disillusionments and attempts to adjust to the market reforms. 3. 1999-2004. The period of adaptation to the changing working and life conditions. The problem area of the 1st period underlined both aspiration to adopt to the market and an objective unavailability of the majority of workers to do it. The publications of the 2nd period reflected the first changes in workers’ minds and behavior initiated by the market factors. And the 3rd period was characterized by the attempts to reveal the settled structural elements in working behavior and relations. The content analysis of the articles gave us four methodological approaches. The Structural-functional approach turned out to be predominant. It underlines the major role of a structure and views the workers’ consciousness and behavior being functional or nonfunctional in respect to it. The activity approach was also reflected in the articles. In this approach workers are viewed as individual actors elaborating the positions and strategies of their own, while solving vital problems. The Class-group approach was also significant. In this approach collective resistance of workers is under examination. The Socio-cultural approach, which is becoming more considerable, is based on the settled traditions of labor culture rooted in the soviet period and which are now regenerating. The latter is more neutral in comparison with the previous ones and is regarded by the author as one of the most perspective in the given area in a transforming Russian society.
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