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On the web since fall 2000

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.

2016. Vol. 17. No. 3

Full text of the journal

Editor’s Foreword (Vadim Radaev)
P. 9–12

New Texts

Yana Roshchina
Health-Related Lifestyle: Does Social Inequality Matter?
P. 13–36

In this research, some practices associated with a healthy lifestyle (e.g., playing sports, eating nutrition foods regularly, avoiding smoking, and not abusing alcohol) are investigated. On the basis of the RLMS-HSE data, we analyze how the percentage of Russians using these practices changed from 2000 to 2014, and how the adherence to the healthy lifestyle depends on the different socio-economic factors. Cluster analysis did not refute the hypothesis that many lifestyles exist between the most and the least healthy choices depending on which factor influences health. Thus, it was possible to find eight health-related lifestyles: healthy, unhealthy, and others in between them (“preventive”, “passive”, “neutral”, “moderate risk”, “negative effect of harmful work”, and “smoking”), which are distinguished by the level of their risk index and by the main negative effect on health. Regression analysis has shown that, all other things being equal, social class significantly influences the choice of health-related lifestyle (“neutral” being a base category) for all styles except “moderate risk.” A model using dummies of social classes as determinants is better construed than another one using the separate parameters of social status (e.g., education level, income, and professional status). Therefore, the “healthy” and “preventive” lifestyles are the most typical for “higher” and “higher-middle” classes. “Middle-middle” classes suffer from the negative effect of harmful work. Both “lower” and “lower-lower” classes are disposed to “passive” and “smoking” lifestyles. The “lower-lower” class also chooses the most “unhealthy” lifestyle, which is characterized by alcohol abuse.

New Translations

Frank Dobbin
Comparative and Historical Perspectives in Economic Sociology
P. 37–81

This paper reviews historical and comparative theories in economic sociology that seek to explain substantial differences in economic behavior across time and space. In order to develop a more integrative analytical framework, one should avoid the stance of mainstream economics that states a force of self-interest determines economic behavior exogenously. The author challenges the idea of a universal economic system and shows that most sociologists share the view that a society’s structural, political, and cultural features shape economic behavior. However, scholars have not reached a consensus on a predominant explanation: some researchers focus on the role of social networks, others on power relations, and still others on social institutions-conventions. Originally, comparative and historical inquiry viewed these perspectives as alternative frameworks, but recent studies refer to them as complementary. Using the reasoning of three major predecessors to economic sociology — Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Emile Durkheim — the author categorizes modern comparative research in economic sociology in accordance with their theoretical toolkit. Despite all the differences, these studies apply the same inductive method, implying that a single process cannot account for variety in economic behavior.
Journal of Economic Sociology offers the Russian translation of the paper which was first published in The Handbook of Economic Sociology (2005).

Debut Studies

Elena Tcyplakova
Gamification — the Way of Motivation or Way of Control over the Labor Process?
P. 82–109

The paper presents results of sociological research that analyzed the new way of controlling the labor process — gamification. This study was based on a concept of post-Fordism and neo-Fordism and focused on examining a combination of the game elements for motivation and electronic surveillance. According to industrial sociology traditions, special attention was paid to strengthening control over workers and social and labor conflicts.
This research was based on data from 16 semi-structured interviews with the managers and employees of a Russian company that produces alcoholic beverages. Data analysis was made using the principles of grounded theory.
As a result, one positive of introducing gamification was the successful combination of the virtual system and the workers’ desire to win, which promoted the employees’ increased involvement in the labor process. In general, introducing gamification didn't lead to open conflicts between the managers and workers; however, changes in the organization of the labor process and technical difficulties instigated passive ways of resisting new working conditions. Deterioration of the social climate was collective because the aggravated competition between workers also led to negative consequences.
As a result, it was revealed that although gamification is positioned as a motivator, in reality, it is primarily a way to exert total control over the labor process, which is organized by automatic operations and electronic monitoring. A distinctive feature of this method is the use of gaming elements to vary routine activities and disguise negative aspects in the whole mechanism.

Professional Reviews

Maria Sakaeva
Property Rights in the Focus of Social Theories:Through Breaking Boundaries towards Interdisciplinary
P. 110–131

This article includes the main social theories of property rights. The question about the existence and development of property right institution is discussed from three persepctives: economic, sociological, and interdisciplinary. Special attention is given to a new institutional school with D. North as a head. In the 21st century, a wave of sociological and anthropological critics showed that institutional scholars’ views of property rights were not relevant, which caused an interdisciplinary turn. It was not easy for sociologists to prove their interest in property rights. While political economists were interested in the state’s role in property protection, new institutional economists focused on the institutionalization of property, and social anthropologists researched cultural roots in property relations. Finally, liberal economists’ normative and ideal views of property rights were weakened. Sociologists argue that property is not restricted to economic sphere, that it depends on and influences culture and law, state and society, collective and individual. The list of property types was enlarged due to recent sociological studies. For example, the female body and trademark were both discussed in terms of property. The first part of the article reviews notions of “property” and “property rights” and a deconstruction of “property” by sociologists. The second part deals with the state’s role in the development of private property and the problem of property protection, discussed within the frameworks of new institutionalism. Then the article examines economic and sociological concepts, which explain why culture matters for property relations, and the article describes the diversity of property relations in practice. Finally, ways of protecting property rights under the institutional instability are analyzed.

New Books

Elena Melnikova
How Songs Get on the Radio, or What does Rihanna's Chart Success Mean for the Researcher of Innovations.
Book Review: Rossman G. 2012. Climbing the Charts: What Radio Airplay Tells Us about the Diffusion of Innovation. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
P. 132–141

The review discusses Gabriel Rossman's monograph Climbing the Charts: What Radio Airplay Tells Us about the Diffusion of Innovation. The author analyzes how songs get on the radio. Describing this process in terms of diffusion of innovations theory, Rossman focuses on how innovations get adopted rather than who adopts innovations. He draws on the “gatekeeping model” of Paul Hirsch, who advocates a production of culture approach that sees popular culture as a flow process where cultural objects, including songs, move from the artists through cultural distributors and surrogate consumers to the ultimate consumers. Rossman concentrates on one element of this flow process — a channel from distributors (record labels) to surrogate consumers (radio stations). The result of his analysis is a detailed picture of the radio industry which shows us two main external forces driving airplay. The first one is corruption in music industry. The second force is a system of music genre classifications which regulates the process of evaluation of new songs by programming directors of the radio stations. Rossman’s findings are based on rich quantitative and qualitative data, first of all, on the cumulative airplay of more than a thousand randomly selected singles released between 2002 and 2007.


Tamara Kusimova
Education and Social Inequality. XVII April International Academic Conferenceon Economic and Social Development, April 19–22, 2016, Moscow, Russia
P. 142–150

The XVII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development was held from April 19 to 22, 2016, at the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow with support of the World Bank. For the first time, the issue of education opportunities were discussed in a separate section on the Role of Education in the Reproduction and Reduction of Social Inequalities. The topic brought together Russian, British, Chinese, American, and European scholars. Over three days, the section hosted thematic sessions, presentations of applied and theoretical research, and panel discussions. Discussions highlighted several main aspects, including comparative cross-national research on the effects of educational opportunities, social policy, studies of informal education, and further research.
The keynote speakers of the section were C. Aedo (World Bank), D. Alexandrov (HSE), A. Asmolov (FIRO), P. Bianchi (University of Ferrara), M. Carnoy (Stanford University), M. Feuer (The George Washington University), I. Froumin (HSE), L. Gortazar (World Bank), M. Jackson (Stanford University), N. Karmaeva (HSE), D. Konstantinovskiy (Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences), S. Kosaretsky (HSE), B. Kupriyanov (HSE), H. Levin (Columbia University), R. Murnane (Harvard Graduate School of Education), E. Pavlenko (HSE), A. Sidorkin (HSE), D. Semenov (HSE), V. Sobkin (Russian Academy of Education), K. Szafraniec (Nicolaus Copernicus University), A. Zakharov (HSE).

Tatyana Larkina
The Questions of Economics History and Methodology. XVII April International Academic Conference on Economicand Social Development, April 19–22, 2016. Moscow, Russia
P. 151–156

The “Economic Methodology” section under the moderation of HSE Professor Vladimir Avtonomov took place on the 20th and 21st of April within the XVII April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development. The section consisted of five sessions: “Economics: Beginning and Continuation”; “Soviet Theorists and Historians of Thought”; “Property, Inequality, Paternalism”; “Methodological Problems of Economic Science”; and “In Search of a Realistic Economics.” Each session had three reports which were followed with discussion among the participants. The question of theoretical and methodological nature of economics and history of economic thought as well as the problem of the practical application of theoretical knowledge were in the spotlight.
This paper focuses on a philosophical and methodological reflection of economics and the history of economic thought, and it partly stresses the problems and practical application of economic knowledge; therefore, not all reports are discussed. Economics is an unrealized natural science project in which primordial foundation has a moral character and is associated with philosophical notions about economy life organization. Scholars’ comprehension of economics, its methodology, and models of economic human has changed over the years. Economists, historians, and methodologists of economic thought reference the philosophical theories and concepts, which allow them to look critically at what is happening inside the disciplinary area, resolve old problems, and ask new questions.

Supplements (in English)

Ivana Pais
Digital Labor and the Sharing Economy: An Interview with Ivana Pais (interviewed by Ivan Pavlyutkin )
P. 157–163

Prof. Ivana Pais was interviewed by Ivan Pavlyutkin, associate professor at the National Research University Higher School of Economics. The conversation occurred at the Department of Sociology of Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. Pais introduces us to her career path as an economic sociologist, and explains challenges that economic sociologists encounter while teaching economics students and why it is more insightful than teaching sociology students. She also talks about directions and peculiarities of economic sociological thought in Italy. There is a strong tradition in Italy to study industrial districts with their network of small firms and labor markets.
In the interview, Pais shares her previous and current research projects. She points out the significance of the digital economy for a better understanding of some market processes happening within the local community and describes her current research concerning the sharing economy. Applying Karl Polany’s theoretical perspective, she argues that the Italian sharing economy is embedded in noneconomic institutions. A pure digital sharing economy model that lacks social interactions (the Silicon Valley type) does not work in Italy.
Finally, Pais provides information about her participation in the conference arranged by the European commission and the organization of future mini-conference in Berkley.

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