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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.

2021. Vol. 22. No. 1

Full text of the journal

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

New Texts

Anna Mironova, Alexander Tatarko
Psychological Causes of Corruption: The Role of Worries
P. 11–34

This study is devoted to answering two questions: (1) Do individuals’ worries and sufferings correlate with the acceptability of corruption from their perspectives? (2) Does this correlation differ by country in terms of corruption levels? We focus on analyzing the correlation between macro and micro worries, on one hand, and individual acceptability of corrupt behavior, on the other hand. This study is based on the data from the 6th-wave World Value Survey. We identified three groups of countries based on the corruption perception index: countries with low-level corruption (Australia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Sweden), countries with medium-level corruption (Belarus, China, South Korea, Malaysia, and Romania), and countries with high-level corruption (Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, and Thailand). For the purposes of our analysis, we used structural equation modeling. We have found that macro and micro worries are significantly correlated with the acceptability of corruption. Our analysis shows that the more the people worry about themselves or their families, the more they accept corruption. The people who worry about society are more likely to disapprove of corruption. However, the significance of these links varies, depending on the group of countries. For the countries with low-level corruption, the correlation is significant only for the link between micro worries and the acceptability of corruption. The countries with high-level corruption show a significant correlation only for the link between macro worries and the acceptability of corruption. For countries with medium-level corruption and for Russia, the acceptability of corruption is significantly correlated with both micro and macro worries.

Evgeniya Polyakova, Mikhail Manokin
Cultural Professions in Modern-Day Russia: Statistical Portrait of the Workers
P. 35–60

In this study, we aim to provide a statistical portrait of employment in the cultural field with regard to occupations on the Russian labor market. The data from the ‘Comprehensive Monitoring of Living Conditions’ are used to illustrate the main differences in the socio-demographic and occupational characteristics of culturally employed respondents and other professional groups. Additionally, the most relevant factors that may have an impact on individuals’ probability to be cultural workers are analyzed.
Our study is based on the theoretical frameworks of U. Beck, R. Florida, J. Urry, and Z. Bauman. We also consider the possible Soviet legacy of the contemporary Russian culture, which may interconnect with labor conditions in this field, using S. Fitzpatrick’s works. We also provide an overview of other relevant studies.
Our findings show that a larger number of cultural workers among the respondents are librarians, archivists, teachers of music and art schools, linguists, museum workers, journalists, and writers. The results on the statistical portrait display that on average, the cultural workers are highly educated married women in their forties or older who live predominantly in the largest regions of the Russian Federation (Moscow and Moscow region, St. Petersburg). Almost three-quarters of the group have relevant education. They are mostly regular full-time employees with a daytime work schedule. We have also found that the most influential factors for becoming cultural workers are the region of residence and relevant professional education.

New Translations

Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake
Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy (an excerpt)
P. 61–70

Capitalism without Capital by Jonathan Haskel and Stian Westlake explores the changes in the types of investments that have occurred in almost all developed countries over the last forty years. If tangible investments predominated in the past, most investments are intangible at present, meaning that money is spent on buying and creating knowledgebased products, including computer software, research and development, design, works of art, market research, learning, and new business processes. The authors attempt to answer why the economy in which intangible assets are intensively used is so different from the economy where tangible assets dominate. The authors conclude that these changes are explained by the basic properties of the intangible assets and have resulted in long-lasting stagnation, lower economic growth, increasing inequality, and difficulties in public policies for economic and financial sectors.
The Journal of Economic Sociology publishes the introductory chapter, ‘Valuation, the Old-Fashioned Ways: Or a Thousand Years in Essex’ from Capitalism without Capital, where the authors discuss the meaning of investments, define the distinctions between tangible and intangible assets, and explain why some basic properties of intangible assets generate such dramatic changes in the contemporary economy.

Beyond Borders

Anastasia Kazun, Sergei Pashakhin
‘Alien Elections’: Neighboring State News on the 2018 Russian Presidential Elections
P. 71–91

News media tend to reflect voices in the political establishment while covering international events. Is it still true when almost half of the national audience speak the language of the country featured in the coverage? In this paper, we present an analysis of 19.5k news messages collected from Russian-language Ukrainian news outlets covering the 2018 presidential elections in Russia. Using a mixed-method approach (topic modeling and qualitative reading), we identify key topics and stories and evaluate the extent of personalization in the election coverage. We find three central angles: the focus on polls and election results, election preparations in Crimea, and Vladimir Putin’s victory. The elections are linked predominantly to Crimean issues through the date of the elections, each candidate’s stance on the subject, the election management in the region, and other countries’ reactions to the results. Such coverage has an accusatory bias; it stresses the legal status of the Crimean referendum and the Russian authorities’ actions and reports the pressures on locals by authorities, especially the Crimean Tatars. Not linked directly to Crimea, other angles are less emotionally charged. Political personalization of the discussion has a contradictory nature. On one hand, the overwhelming majority of the messages mention public figures. On the other hand, the coverage of the figures is limited and omits their traits. Moreover, at times, public figures are replaced by non-personalized symbols (e.g., Kremlin, Russian invaders). However, if the former’s coverage is predominantly neutral, the latter’s coverage is more prone to negative and loaded statements.

Professional Reviews

Yuliya Kersha
School Socio-economic Composition as a Factor of Educational Inequality. Review of Measurement Approaches and Relation with Academic Outcomes
P. 92–123

New Books

Daria Lebedeva
Create not to Commercialize: On the Everyday Practices of Russian Technopreneurs
Book Review: Bychkova O., Gladarev B., Kharkhordin O., Tsinman Zh. (2019) Fantasticheskie miry rossiyskogo hay-teka [Sci-Fi Worlds of Russian Hi-Tech], St. Petersburg: EUSP Press (in Russian)
P. 124–139

What is the reason for the low commercialization of high-tech innovations in Russia? Given the Russian engineers’ high scores on initiative, creativity, and technical competence, why is there no successful launch of manufactured—often amazing—inventions on domestic and international markets? Does Russia have a specific way of development in the sphere of high technologies? The research team of sociologists from the European University at St. Petersburg (EUSP)—Olga Bychkova, Boris Gladarev, Oleg Harkhordin, and Zhanna Tsinman—offer answers to these questions in their book, Sci-Fi Worlds of Russian Hi-Tech. Based on a large set of in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs from Russia, as well as Finland, Taiwan, and South Korea, the authors’ focus is not on institutions but on the technopreneurs themselves, who update the hightech markets on their daily practices, ways of social interaction, worldviews, interactions with developers, technical prototypes, and themselves. Employing the concepts from the theory of practice and science and technology studies (STS), the authors have attempted to re-examine the life worlds of Russian technopreneurs and to align their individual narratives with the sociocultural context in which the daily life of developers is embedded. The researchers show the way that engineers live, in which value categories make sense of their work and daily practices, and how it may determine the technological development of the Russian economy and the whole society at the macro level.
The book is filled with detailed and thorough descriptions of methodology and fieldwork, rich and illustrative quotations from the narratives of innovators, and the justification for the theoretical framework of the study. It is addressed to a wide readership and will be useful for sociologists, including those interested in research on science and technology, and for the general public who strives to open up the daily life of those whose works try to “crack the laws of the universe.”

Supplements (in English)

Ilia Viatkin, Kristina Komarova
A Loosening Grip: Why Do Autocracies Engage in the Neoliberalization of Their Welfare Sectors?
P. 140–164

Despite the wealth of studies on neoliberalism, research on why authoritarian states engage in processes of neoliberalization remains scarce. Therefore, our article seeks to explore why autocracies use neoliberal power practices, which, as suggested by Foucauldian governmentality approach to neoliberalism, are understood as governance techniques aimed primarily at disciplining and controlling populations through promoting the free market as a key form of societal organization. Empirically, these power practices can manifest in a state’s withdrawal from the provision of welfare services. However, scholars have argued that control over the public sector is essential to the maintenance of authoritarian regimes, and hence, governments must have compelling reasons to opt for its neoliberalization. In this study, we employ three mutually nonexclusive theoretical perspectives that suggest incentives that may motivate autocrats to retreat from the welfare sector; these are the authoritarian legitimation, authoritarian modernization, and political economy perspectives. By means of a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis, we tested the foregoing theories on a sample of 42 autocracies active during 1980–2005. The results revealed that authoritarian modernization theory has the highest explanatory capacity, as it identifies two distinct pathways to public sector neoliberalization—internal and external policy considerations or one of the two—while the political economy perspective was an important theoretical concern in several cases. Overall, our paper contributes to research on the governmentality approach to neoliberalism and serves as a departure point for further investigations into neoliberal authoritarianism.

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