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A new society, a new resource, a new social class? (60th anniversary of the human capital theory)

русская версия

Опубликовано на портале: 31-07-2021
TERRA ECONOMICUS. 2021.  Т. 19. № 2. С. 6-27. 
Тематический раздел:
A striking contradiction exists between the post-industrial discourse, which is widespread in today’s Russia, andlack of studies on social groups that are of crucial significance for the post-industrial society. Given the existinggroups of professionals, the most relevant for this study is the one described by Rosstat as “highly qualifiedspecialists”. This social group is beyond the traditional classification which implies polarization between theworkers employed and capitalists as the feature of the previous socio-economic formation. Social significance ofthis group increases due to the ownership on human capital – the key resource for the “knowledge economy”.Literature review reveals two main relevant domains: the sociology of professions, and sources on the social andprofessional structure of the modern society. The latter, being far less represented by contemporary Russiansociology, is organically linked to the post-industrial discourse. Its framework allows to interpret the humancapital of domestic professionals in the context of post-Soviet Russia undergoing the process of transitionto a post-industrial society. The weakness of this approach is due to the relatively small size of the class ofprofessionals in Russia, on the one hand, as well as its heterogeneity, on the other hand. Human capital, i.e.knowledge, skills and competencies are the key elements that professionals use as an economic asset. Thiscriterion allows to differentiate this social group as one of the proto-classes of the future post-industrial society.
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