Officially registered in the Federal Service for Supervision in the Area of Telecom, Information Technologies and Mass Communications
Electronic No. 77-8029.

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.

2020. Vol. 21. No. 1

Full text of the journal

Editor’s Foreword (Vadim Radaev)
P. 7–10

New Texts

Emil Kamalov, Eduard Ponarin
Subjective Well-being of Migrants in Russia: Effects of Regional Characteristics and Migration Legislation
P. 11–43

Migration is an important and rapidly growing phenomenon in the modern world. Many countries are facing problems with integration and adaption of migrants to new living conditions. Subjective well-being (SWB) can be considered as an indicator of how successfully migrants are adapted and integrated into the host society. Levels of migrants’ SWB are often determined by the same factors as for other people—good health, high salary, employment and youth make them happier. Nonetheless, migrants’ decision to migrate is often led by economic motives, which leads them to overvalue economic characteristics of countries and regions of destination and undervalue non-economic factors. This paper aims to estimate the effects of the economic prosperity (measured by gross regional product) and social capital of Russian regions (measured by general social trust and relative size of the community of the migrant’s compatriots) on the life satisfaction of migrants. In addition, we analyze possible effect of the inclusion of the migrants’ country of origin into Eurasian Customs Union. To answer the proposed questions we employed data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey—Higher School of Economics (RLMS-HSE) and statistics provided by Russian Federal State Statistics Service. The main method of analysis is a cross-classified multilevel linear regression modeling. The results show that the economic performance of a region has no effect on the life satisfaction of a migrant. It appears that social factors play a greater role—the effects of general social trust and the relative size of the community of a migrant’s compatriots in a region are positive and statistically significant. We found that inclusion of the country of migrants’ origin into the Eurasian Customs Union positively and significantly affects the life satisfaction of migrants. We associate this effect with a decrease in the economic and psychological costs of migration.

New Translations

Philippe Van Parijs, Yannick Vanderborght
Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy (excerpts)
P. 44–59

The idea of providing people with income independently of the job they perform or seek seems mad. However, providing each individual (rich and poor, economically active and inactive) with an unconditional basic income was supported by such famous thinkers as Thomas Paine, John Stuart Mill, and John Kenneth Galbraith. For a long time this idea has not been taken seriously. At present, as the traditional welfare state has been straining under an increasing pressure, the basic income has become the most popular social policy project to discuss worldwide. Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght argue that the basic income can overcome the economic insecurity and social exclusion of the 21st century. The authors combine some evidence from philosophy, politics and economics in order to compare the proposal of a basic income with other projects to alleviate poverty and unemployment, trace its history, and find answers to economic and political arguments against unconditional income, including the argument about a tendency to decreased stimulus and free-rider models of behavior that might result from the basic income; to explain how this seemingly impossible idea can be achieved economically and politically; and to consider its applicability to the extending global economy. In the age of increasing inequality and political fragmentation, when the old answers to deeply embedded social issues are not credible, the basic income offers the hope of achieving a free society and a sane economy.
The Journal of Economic Sociology publishes some excerpts from the first chapter “The Instrument of Freedom” in which the authors provide the main considerations in favor of an unconditional basic income, demonstrating how it solves the problems of poverty and unemployment as well as how, as one of the most important elements of a sustainable emancipatory institutional infrastructure, it can become a tool of freedom.

Beyond Borders

Andrey Zakharov, Kseniya Adamovich
Regional Differences in Access to Educational Resources, Academic Results and Students’ Trajectories in Russia
P. 60–80

Today little is known about regional inequality in education in Russia. In this article we analyze regional differences in educational resources in association with regions’ socio-economic characteristics, and in addition we assess the relationship of regions’ socio-economic characteristics and educational resources with the proportion of students remaining in high school as well as with the average results of the Unified State Exam (end of high school test) in two compulsory subjects—Russian and math. We test theories of effectively maintained inequality and maximally maintained inequality using data of Russia regions that we retrieve from open sources—publications of Rosstat and federal and regional education agencies. To estimate the relationship we use correlation and regression analysis. Our results show that more urbanized regions with higher levels of human capital and GRP are usually characterized by the higher level of school expenditures, more experienced teachers, and higher chances for students to study at the advanced level. The same time, the level of urbanization and human capital is positively related to the proportion of students that choose an academic trajectory after finishing secondary school. Finally, the results of the Unified State Exam are also positively associated with access to educational resources. In both subjects, the average test score is higher in the regions with a higher proportion of students in lyceums/gymnasiums and in schools with advanced study options. In Russian, the exam results are also related to the proportion of students remaining in high school. In general, regional inequality in access to educational resources overlaps with socio-economic differences, which produces a situation of double loss or double advantage. Greater access to better educational resources in regions with higher human capital supports effectively maintained inequality theory. At the same time the fact that a lower proportion of students choose an academic trajectory after grade 9 in regions with less human capital could be evidence of maximally maintained inequality. The article could be interesting to readers whose area of study relates to problems of education inequality and education policy.

Professional Reviews

Maria Kartuzova
Work Practices of Older Population Groups: Reasons for Choice
P. 81–99

The most important challenge for developed and developing countries of the 21st century, in the opinion of the United Nations, is increasing lifespans alongside fertility reduction. This is shown to result in the maintenance of older people’s health and labor activity at an average level. At the same time high developed IT leads to a growing sharing economy. This results in labor market changes and global digitalization of the economy compounds this. At the same time the economic crises lead to reducing household incomes. There are a lot of older population groups in the labor market at an age when their parents had already retired, so youth unemployment stems from older people competing with younger for jobs. Aggressive ageism is one of the characteristics of such a situation.
Governments are paying people to retire later. As a result, the labor market consists of senior employees who are trying to give their family an acceptable standard of living even if they are old enough to retire, and young and middle-aged employees. These groups compete with each other, and the more heterogeneous the labor force, the more intense the competition becomes. As a result, countries propose political programs to reduce the negative impact of the demographic crisis. For Russia this problem is also a current problem. But Russia is beginning its path. It needs to interpret the experiences of Western countries and choose its own way.
This article offers a detailed examination of the labor practices of older population groups. The first labor practice investigated is leaving the labor market, the second is employment and the third is self-employment, including entrepreneurship. The author shows how the classification of causes leads to the choice of a specific strategy at labor market. She theorizes that neoliberalism gives older people a new ability to help country economy, rather than being disability recipients. As a result, the author concludes that although the problem of the aging population in Russia and in developed countries is the same, but a common practice is not suitable. And the new Russian pension reform that increases the retirement age may lead to a national catastrophe as older people have difficulties to find work and have no cash savings.

New Books

Ilya Pavlov
The One-Sided Participation
Book Review: Jenkins H., Ito M., danah boyd. (2015) Participatory Culture in a Networked Era: A Conversation on Youth, Learning, Commerce, and Politics, Cambridge, UK: Polity. 220 p.
P. 100–112

This book by three prominent researchers of communities' cultures and the technological impact on the society includes a conversation in the title and takes it seriously. The text is a compilation of authors’ talks about applying the definition of participatory culture to the analysis of diverse spheres of social life and is an implicit call to join the conversation, argue for theses and offer your own at the same time.
Each author unsurprisingly has his or her own interpretation of the major definition of participatory culture, but all of them feel deeply involved in their research subject, which M. Weber has warned against: All three scientists identify themselves as former or present natives of the participatory culture. The deep emotional involvement in the research subject leaves a trace and, in our view, complements the analysis.
Hence the authors have not only made fruitful (almost autobiographical) research into participatory culture but also have made very useful social recommendations about the efficient and cautious application of it in the educational sphere and resolution of the intergenerational conflicts and have called on researchers generally not to marginalize the representatives of participatory cultures’ communities. Of course, promotion of democratizing, educational and other positive roles of the participatory culture is important and very practical.
Alongside its analysis of participatory cultures the book includes an updated look at the traditional definitions of social groups, social networks and forms of capital. In this review, the author tries to systematize scientists’ points of view on the most prominent themes highlighted in the book. Moreover we had the opportunity to join the conversation with these three eminent scientists and mentally visit (and present to the reader) the living room of Henry Jenkins, which was the site of most of the conversations in the book.

Mariya Denisova
Between Gift and Profit: Appropriative Practices as a New Approach to Digital Economy Analysis
Book Review: Elder-Vass D. (2016) Profit and Gift in the Digital Economy, New York: Cambridge University Press. 331 p.
P. 113–122

The author of the book sets the non-trivial task of developing an approach to the economic analysis that would include the diversity of economic practices and at the same time indicate the recipients of benefits. In criticizing the ideas of Marxists and mainstream economists, the author concludes that they are unable to see economies beyond capitalism and market relations, which automatically excludes gifts and hybrid economic forms from any economic analysis. Five case studies from the digital economy of Apple, Wikipedia, Google, YouTube and Facebook demonstrate the analytical potential of a new approach—the political economy of practices, which considers the diversity of economic practices. By putting emphasis on various combinations of appropriating practices, the author demonstrates the success of the enterprises in the digital economy, which cannot be explained by perfect competition or the exploitation of wage labor.
This book is an excellent example of the substantive approach to economic analysis and would be especially interesting to those who are interested in the coexistence of market and non-market economic forms, particularly in the digital world.


International workshop “The Varieties of Power in the Economy”, NRU HSE, Moscow, July 3–4, 2020
P. 123–126

Supplements (in English)

John W. Meyer
Interview with John W. Meyer: If You Study Organizations You Should Not Believe in Them (interviewed by Elena Gudova)
P. 127–139

An interview with John W. Meyer, emeritus Professor of Sociology, and by courtesy Education, at Stanford University, was conducted in October 2019 during his visit to the 10th International Russian Higher Education Conference (RHEC) in Moscow on “Contributions of Higher Education to Society and Economy: Global, National and Local Perspectives.” The interview was performed by Elena Gudova, PhD and a lecturer in the Department of Economic Sociology at the Higher School of Economics.
John Meyer talks about the rise of hyper-managerialism and its implications for modern organizations. While previously, organizations tended to be subordination actors, today they have more legitimation in choosing mission and purposes, which marks a shift from management authority toward leadership and implies a need for managers with charismatic qualities.
Business schools, in their courses and educational processes, emphasize the importance of failures as part of entrepreneurs’ experiences, while questions of vision are rarely a part of the agenda. Still, even a great charismatic leader/entrepreneur may lack authority because of a decontextualized vision as local communities’ interests are usually not represented. Organizations with good vision (i.e., with proper corporate social responsibilities) may legitimate themselves through the routinization of the leader’s charisma, the incorporation of norms of good citizenship, and the self-management of employees and citizens. As Meyer puts it, “You have to be an okay-person in the modern hyper-organizational context.” Due to these new scripts in the character of an individual, John Meyer discusses distinctions between the American and German educational systems and some possible outcomes for the world based on the German educational model instead of on the American one. As current types of organizational responses might be treated as invasive for individuals (even though they are useful in many ways), the German system resists many of the hyper-liberal changes in a much better way.
Another focus of Meyer’s interests is connected with changes in universities and those in science in general. He talks about the mutual influence of society and academia and the legitimation of scientific knowledge, both per se and in educational process. A simple, but still important, issue regards keeping a research distance and asking the right questions, as moral commitment might weaken the research. The solution may be in comparing education to the forces that produce the observed changes, and not to what we imagine to be an ideal educational process and product.

International workshop “The Varieties of Power in the Economy”, NRU HSE, Moscow, July 3–4, 2020
P. 140–142

Rambler's Top100 rss