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Journal of Economic Sociology is indexed by Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI) from Web of Science™ Core Collection

Funded by the National Research University Higher School of Economics since 2007.

2013. Vol. 14. No. 5

Full text of the journal

Vadim Radaev
Editor’s Foreword (Vadim Radaev)
P. 9–11


William Carroll
Interview with William Carroll. The Basic Issues of Capitalism in the XIX Century are Still Vital in the XXI Century (translated by Elena Konobeeva)
P. 12–22

William Carroll, Professor of Sociology at University of Victoria, wasinterviewed during the conference “Embeddedness and Beyond: Do Sociological Theories meet Economic Realities?” in Moscow (October 25–28, 2012), where Carroll chaired a section of mini-conference “Capitalist Globalization and Its Alternatives” and at the same time presented his research project entitled “Embedding Postcapitalist Alternatives: The Global Network of Alternative Knowledge Production and Mobilization”.

In his interview Carroll disserts upon postcapitalism as a possible way for moving away from class society towards economic democracy, as well as upon opportunities and consequences of that move; moreover, capitalist mode of production, income polarization and current environmental problems are criticized in reference to global world.

According to Carroll today’s capitalist society is not democratic in its full meaning, because democracy represents a kind of autocracy that is market mediated, and society is differentiated by its income in proportion 1 : 99%. The second important question of capitalism is ecology issue, implying that capitalist mode of production necessarily requires endless grow, while our resources are limited. At the same time, the problems of capitalism dated by the XIX century are still of immediate interest.

From Carol’s perspective globalization process has played a significant role in formation of a transnational capitalist class, based on the higher-density networks of corporate and managerial elites. Despite the existence of other historical examples of such networking, transnational capitalist class represents a brand new formation, far more transnationalized and accumulating greater capital flows and greater political planning possibilities. At the same time, connections and ties within transnational capitalist class are weakened by competition among members as well as lack of trust. However, this inter-capitalist competition justifies capitalism as aquite dynamic mode of production.

New Texts

Svetlana Yaroshenko
“Women’s Work” and Personal Well-Being: Technology of Exclusion in Post-Soviet Russia
P. 23–58

This paper examines the features of post-soviet women’s position in the labour market and the changes in their employment strategies during the last decade. Using the data from the five waves of longitudinal qualitative research, conducted in the period from 1999 to 2010 in one of Russia’s region among registered poor, the author argues that under the conditions of market service economy the ability of women to manage life situations with their work are reduced. The author shows that the transition of women in the market services sector does not improve wages, that their acceptance the “universal worker” norms does not guarantee high returns and does not compensate costs associated with the rejection of caring for others. The pattern of gendered exclusion, or the way of patriarchal domination is changing. In the Soviet era, a special governmental support forwomen stimulated their inclusion in the scope of employment and minimized the impact of sex differences on the working career. At the same time, women were segregated in the sectors of social reproduction and their responsibility for maintaining the household was preserved. In competitive business environment the special position of women between work and home, based on the care for others, becomes a resource for surviving and a source of profit.

New Translations

Jack А. Goldstone
Why Europe? The Rise of the West in World History, 1500–1850 (an excerpt) (translated by Michael Rudakov)
P. 59–72

In his book “Why Europe? The Rise of the West in World History, 1500–1850”, famous sociologist and political scientist Jack Goldstone explores how Europe managed to get from a peripheral and lagging district into the area with great innovations, wealth and mighty power. What were the reasons for that? Was the springtime of Europe generated from its unique life course? Was it caused by changesin relationships between Europe and the rest of the world? How dissimilar was thistransformation to other golden ages of human history? There are not so many historians who can offer better answers to the above issues than Jack Goldstone,who has studied them for several decades. In his book, he relies on recent research findings in the field and presents the worldwide audience fundamental arguments written in plain language.

The journal “Economic Sociology” publishes an excerpt Jack Goldstone’s book —“Conclusion. The Rise of the West: A Temporary Phase?”, where the authorsingles out six factors and argues that their specific combination produced the Europe’s success. Alongside this Goldstone considers backgrounds for modern economic growth formed by accumulation of technical and economic achievements under conditions of the world competition. Moreover, the author offers the primary reasons why economic growth did not spill over into more nations; they include lack of scientific background and entrepreneurial opportunity. Finally, Goldstone tries to read the nearest future and to indicate the potential for the world progress in the coming decades.

Beyond Borders

Natalia Bogatyr
Passing Recipes: How Users’ Innovations are Distributed
P. 73–103

This article focuses on the “domestication” of hard disk drives’ technologies and the development of data recovery market in Post-Soviet Russia. Drawingon 3,5 years ethnographic research with one data recovery service center in Moscow, as well as on 12 in-depth narrative semi-structured interviews with technicians in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Minsk, the authorargues that lead users were centre players in these developments. The author narrows and specifies E. von Hippel’s definition of lead users, stressing as main characteristics their abilities to invent and to materialize their inventions to create new marketplaces through commercialization of their technological innovations (or, in other words, the ability to complete an innovation cycle by themselves). The questions the author poses in this article are: 1) Who were those lead users that invented data recovery as a new service in Russia? 2) In which directions did they transfer their innovations? 3) Which ways and means did they use? To address these questions, the article proceeds through five sections and examines the social basis of data recovery and the history of this field; the practices of transferring innovation vertically (to producers; “invention”), horizontally (to other lead users; “objectification”) and downwards (to domesticusers; “commercialization”); the dynamics of data recovery as a “cultural recipe”. To analyze data, the author has adopted some grounded theory techniques, thus the result of my undertaking is a “theory” which explains data recovery market development as an evolution of users’ cultural recipes. The article concludes with an assumption that, in Russia, certain innovations in other commercial or industrial fields (for example,automobile electronics) could be initiated by lead users and organized along similar lines to data recovery.

Debut Studies

Anton Kazun
The Problem of Choice between Personal Benefit and Professional Responsibility in Lawyers Work: Development of Individual Level of Control
P. 104–143

In practice, legal community often faces a dilemma: to follow personal interests or the rules prescribed by professional ethics. The contradiction inherents in the principle of professional work: on the one hand, lawyer is obliged to fulfill all wishes of the client; on the other hand, professional activity should be the main source of his income. A contradiction concerning time-consuming, remuneration,emotional involvement and other issues often arises between the interests of the client and the interests of professional. Final lawyer’s choice depends on current forms of control: external (society), internal (colleagues) and individual (professional himself). Individual level of control is always crucial because it is quite difficult to evaluate the quality of lawyers work for clients or even colleagues. Formal, informal and individual levels of control are defined by different actors —the state, the professional community and law faculties, respectively. That is why it makes sense to start the analysis of problem of choice between self-interest and professional responsibility with law students. Using the strategy of mixed method we consider the process of professional values formation among law students of three different universities. Our analysis is based on questionnaire survey of 282 law students in three universities of Russia: Higher School of Economics, People’s Friendship University, and Russian Academy of Justice. Qualitative data part consists of 8 interviews with law students and 6 video interviews with the winners of the award “Lawyer of the Year” taken from the site of the “Lawyers Association of Russia”. It is used to create research tools and to make interpretations of the results from quantitative data. The strategy of quantitative case-study allows us to draw a conclusion what the atmosphere within the university and the level of student’s involvement in the university’s life predetermine professional values, and hence the choice in favor of one or another variant of behavior. In addition, we found out that the majority of law students formed a negative image of the lawyer as a businessman or a deceiverby the last year of education. This fact gives grounds to assume that the informal level of control in the legal environment could be poorly developed because of the low initial expectations of young professionals.

Professional Reviews

Aryna Dzmitryieva
How the Law Really Works: The New Sociology of Law in Russia
P. 144–158

The paper is devoted to the sociological turn in law studies in Russia. The sociology of law is a new concept for the Russian sociology and is not widely recognized as a discipline with own developed theoretical background and research methods. One of the recent developments that gave rise to the new sociology of law in Russia was the creation in 2009 of the Institute for the Rule of Law (IRL) in the European University at Saint Petersburg. The mission of the Institute is to facilitate judicial and law enforcement reforms and to uphold the principle of the rule of law in Russia. This goal is pursued by means of academic and policy-oriented study conducted within the research tradition known as Law and Society, which is way beyond pure sociology of law and takes advantage of related disciplines, such as economic sociology, new institutional economics, law and economics, political science and others. In the brief overview, the author addresses four most interesting areas of studies. First, it refers to extra-legal influences on court decisions that can result in regularities implicit in the decision making process in arbitration and civic courts in Russia. Second, it provides sociological views on judges as a professional community. Third, it proposes an institutional analysis of the judicial decisions that are overwhelmingly biased towards prosecution. Fourth, it discusses issues of copyright law and its implications, especially under faster development of the Internet technologies. Reviewing the fourth research areas, the author demonstrates how sociologists challenge this autonomy of law and study external social influences. Thus, they shows “law in action” in a real society.

New Books

N Khalina
Making Decisions by Amateur Investors A Review on Book: Harrington B. (2008) Pop Finance: Investment Clubs and the New Investor Populism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
P. 159–170

This article presents a review on “Pop Finance: Investment Clubs and the New Investor Populism” by B. Harrington. The book is devoted to investment clubs that were widespread on the American stock market in the 1990s. It was a way for attracting a mass of amateur investors on the market. In the beginning of there view the nature of investment club phenomenon is described; its meaning for the US economy in 1990 and reasons why many of ordinary Americans became a members of investment club are discussed. Next theme considered by Harringtonis a decision making process on the stock market in case of overwhelmingin formation. To guide their action amateur investors use mental maps reflecting their social identity. As a result, the decision to buy or to sell stocks is mediated not only by their financial performance, but also by the investor’s identity. All this ideas result in the debates about rationality of economic action. In addition, the significance of group composition is discussed. Why clubs composed of men and women together earned higher returns than all-male or all-female clubs? There is also the question how social ties within the group influence on investing and performance of the group. In conclusion, the author of the book review is trying to answer some other questions. How did the financial crisis of 2008 affect the performance of investment clubs? How could the ideas expressed in Harrington’s books be used for interpreting the situation on Russian stock market? Compared to USA stock market the share of personal investors in Russia is significantly smaller,nevertheless here we could find some examples which illustrate the influence of identity on the investment decisions.

Research Projects

Irina Sokhan
Transformations of Modern Gastronomic Culture and the Totality of Fast Food
P. 171–178

The paper presents a short description of the research project carried out within The National Research University Higher School of Economics’ Academic Fund Program in January 15, 2013 — May 15, 2014. In the modern world, traditional gastronomic practices and gastronomic culture undergo dramatic transformations. Their role in the formation of human identity is becoming more and more obvious. The specific features of food as the material medium of symbols and signs, that are assimilated at the level of the most direct corporeal experience, determines its consumption as a complex system of communication links. Many processes in the sphere of gastronomic practices are cruel and global. For example, new nutritive horrors, change in the status of feast as permanent topos of human social and cultural identity reproduction. Gastronomic symbols are widely used in advertising as a tool of temptation intensively. Fast food is considered neutral from the perspective of national gastronomic cultures and therefore has become the foreground way gastronomic behavior. Moreover, modern gastronomic culture has produced the most actual today standard of thin body. The practice of fast food consumption has lead to market appearance of the new practices of gastronomic communication as well as the relationships between man and power and new gender order. It can be claimed that in the form of fast food (MAC-food) the symbolic content of food has overcome and absorbed its physical and technical aspects.

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