Economic Sociology, 2023 (1) http://ecsoc.hse.ru en-us Copyright 2023 Mon, 30 Jan 2023 12:09:35 +0300 Editor’s Foreword (Vadim Radaev) https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810783213.html Ethical Consumption as a Sphere of Russian Civil Society: Factors and the Development Potential of Market Practices https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810785408.html The paper explores the concept of “voting for a better world with your wallet,” which refers to the idea of using consumer choices to effect change. The study conducts a synthesis and systematic review of existing scholarship on this topic and develops hypotheses promoting a holistic model of ethical consumer choice. The model takes into account consumer characteristics, product characteristics, and the environment, as well as two facets of ethical consumer identity: civic (concern for the common good) and consumer (focus on personal benefit). The study uses representative survey data from 2014, 2017, and November 2020, the year of the pandemic (N = 2000 in each case), to understand the dynamics and characteristics of different types of consumers who hold different positions on ethical purchasing (‘actual’, ‘potential’, and ‘indifferent’). Using regression analysis, we examine the relationship between specific factors and a consumer’s likelihood of of being included in various types of ethical consumers. Special attention has been paid to identifying a comparative role of proenvironmental (prosocial) and individualistic aspirations. We found that the concern for the common good has the strongest relationship with the likelihood of actually making ethical purchases, although the relationship with personal benefit is also significant. The engagement in ethical consumption practices is positively related to the diversity of Russians’ traditional prosocial activities outside of the consumption sphere. It has been shown, however, that by “voting with your wallet,” Russian civil society undergoes in-depth development, and also grows by attracting new participants as a result of easy access to practices. The number of ethical consumer is growing and their quality is changing, with the key change associated with the younger generation coming onto the scene. The paper substantiates the conclusion that the development of independent activity exercised by ethically-minded consumers signals the transformation of civil society, its tools, and spheres of influence. However, the realization of the consumer potential of citizens as agents of change is highly dependent on the available possibilities related to the activity of other stakeholders (businesses, NGOs, and authorities). The Right to the City (excerpt) https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810785826.html The Right to the City is an idea and a slogan first proposed by French philosopher Henri Lefebvre in his 1968 book, Le Droit à la ville. In this book, Lefebvre critically analyzes thoughts and activities related to urbanism and calls for action to reclaim the city as a ‘to-created space’—a place for life detached from the growing and negative effects, evident in the last two centuries, of commodification and capitalism on social interaction and the rise of spatial inequalities in cities worldwide. The Journal of Economic Sociology publishes the first chapter “Industrialisation et urbanisation” (“Industrialization and Urbanization”). It traces the reasons for the crisis of the city—competitive capitalism and industrialization—in their theoretical and practical dimensions. Lefebvre also distinguishes three periods of the destruction of the city, and discusses the trends that lead to the renewal of the city in the managed society of consumption. He predicts serious dangers and raises the issue of the city society as a political one. Subjective Well-being of Rural Dwellers in Russia: Factors and Their Significance https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810786276.html The traditional policy of rural development in Russia has focused on bridging the gap between urban and rural areas by improving infrastructure and settlements in rural areas, but has not taken into account the perspectives and priorities of rural dwellers regarding their lives. Using data from The Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey from 2012 to 2019, this study seeks to understand rural residents’ priorities for rural development by analyzing their assessments of their own wellbeing and the factors that influence it. The study uses data discrimination form factor analysis to obtain multicomponent regressors; a logit model is constructed to determine the significance of selected factors. The study finds that factors such as health, education, person's economic condition, and availability of utilities in the house have a significant positive impact on rural residents’ life satisfaction. However, the most dominant factor is “job satisfaction”, which includes the attitude of rural residents to (1) pay and working conditions and (2) opportunities for professional growth. The study also finds, unexpectedly, a nonlinear impact of economic condition on life satisfaction in rural areas, and a decrease in income returns. Additionally, the study identifies a group of rural residents who despite having minimal material goods, evaluate their lives as quite satisfactory. The study concludes by suggesting adjustments to the funding structure of the State Program “Integrated Rural Development” by increasing funding for measures to promote rural employment and expanding the focus to the non-agricultural sector of the rural economy. The Valuation of Online APE Courses: The Case of Online Consumer Reviews on the Educational Platform https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810786565.html and the concept of lifelong learning has become increasingly popular in society. At the same time, the use platforms as a new economic organization is growing. It leads to a contradiction between the services’ standardization and the platform’s aim to retain consumers. This has raised the issue of determining the value of online courses as singular goods in terms of quality criteria. The goal of this research is to determine the value of online APE courses for students. A mixed methods research strategy was used, including content analysis of online consumer reviews (N = 300) on the Skillbox website and semi-structured interviews with learners (N = 16). The research found that, in terms of standardization, the singularity of the product is not in its functional utility (core area), but in the additional services (peripheral area) provided by the platform, according to J.-J. Lambin's multi-attribute product model. As a result, three groups of consumers were identified: promiscuous learners; selective learners focused on additional services (peripheral area) provided by the platform; and selective learners focused on the functional utility (core area) of the educational product. The findings can be applied to the development of digital products on the e-learning market and provide a classification of consumers based on both course selection logics and the top-priority criterion of the product in a platform economy. A Book on Economics for Sociological Reading Book Review: Banerjee A., Duflo E. (2021) Ekonomicheskaya nauka v tyazhelye vremena. Produmannye resheniya samykh vazhnykh problem sovremennosti [Good Economics for Hard Times: Better Answers to Our Biggest Problems], Moscow: Gaidar Institute Press; St. Petersburg: Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg University, 624 pp. (in Russian) https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810786689.html The book under review was first published in 2019 and could not help but draw attention from the academic community as a form of the intra- and interdisciplinary “self-reflection” for the two world “star” economists who received the Nobel Prize in 2019. Russian researchers had mixed reactions to the book, noting the development of tools to increase the efficiency of foreign aid to poor countries (see, e. g.: [Banerjee, Duflo 2007; 2009; Banerjee, Duflo, Glennerster, Kinnan 2015]); an issue topical in light of the number of the developing countries’ debts “forgotten” by the Russian state (see, e. g.: [Voronov 2020]). However, the book received positive reviews from both international and Russian readers. The former appreciated its accessible style, and the focus on applied solutions for the urgent socialeconomic global problems aimed at creating a more humane world. They, however, also, noted a lack of critical assessment of the ‘capitalist worldview’, ignorance of certain issues (for instance, shadow economy), overly bold comparisons and generalizations, and vague practical recommendations (see, e. g.: [Crabtree 2019; Ball 2020; Kumar 2020; Oommen 2020; Srivastava 2020]). Russian readers agreed with these remarks, but also noticed the regrettable mismatch between the scale and the regional coverage of the book, its reliance on facts and the fight against stereotypes, and the authors’ ignorance of the Russian “case” and political-economic generalizations, and also questioned the authors’ estimates and forecasts under and after the pandemic (see, e. g.: [Meshcheryakova 2020; Kushnarev 2021]). For the sociological reader interested in the current Russian realities, the review summarizes the main themes of the book as the status of economics and economy, types of social polarization, myths and facts about migration, opportunities and limitations of free trade, socialpsychological mechanisms of economic processes, uncertainty of economic growth, and ways to mitigate poverty. However, it is noted that it seems that one cannot speak of a victory over or even a tense struggle against poverty today due to the actualization of the militaristic-geopolitical agenda. 24th Yasin (April) International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, April 4–14, 2023 https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810787243.html The Main Ideas of the Economic and Sociological Concept of Emotions by Eva Illouz. Reply to Nina Lyubinarskaya’s Review https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810786918.html This work is a commentary on the review of N. Lyubinarskaya [Lyubinarskaya 2022] on the Russian translation of the book by E. Illouz Why Love Hurts? [Illouz 2020]. In her review, N. Lyubinarskaya highlights important and interesting aspects of the book under review. However, due to the fact that the sociology of emotions is a relatively new discipline, it is likely that most readers are not familiar with other works by Eva Illouz. In this note, we overview the general logic of her concept of the constitutive relationship of capitalism and emotions. According to Illouz, economic systems (or “modes of production”) form cultural and historical matrices (for example, traditional society or capitalism in its various historical forms) that shape models of relations between individuals within social groups , as well as the relationships of individuals to themselves in the sense of self-identification. These social models of relations in the processes of socialization are internalized and become “internal”, “their own” emotional-existential factors of the psyche. Each cultural matrix constitutes its own unique conditions for the realization of feelings and emotional relationships (the ecology of emotions), making the content of emotions specific to a historical and even biographical (the architecture of emotional choice) context. Illouz’s research highlights the radical difference between emotions, particularly love and related positive and negative experiences, between traditional, early capitalist, and modern capitalist societies. She especially reviews the effects of the latter in the context of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the surge of feminism in the 1970s. She pays special attention to the analysis of the destruction of traditional identification systems as a background to the commodification of emotions (turning them into ‘emodities’). Finally, she discussed that the formation of emotional capitalism in which “positive psychology” establishes a sort of a market dictatorship of happiness (‘happycracy’). Paid Educational Activities for Preschoolers in Russian Cities with Over a Million People: The Interrelation between Income Level and Parental Investment https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810787161.html In many Russian families, the educational differences between preschoolers are mainly formed outside of the municipal kindergartens through participation in paid classes, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. This created a new problem of increasing inequality in early childhood education (ECE), as not all parents can afford to pay for extra educational activities. This study investigates the effect of income level on parental investment in ECE by examining the relationship between family income and the educational strategies chosen by parents. The study involved 260 families with children aged 3 to 7 years old, living in fifteen Russian cities with populations over one million people. The families were divided into three income brackets. To identify the correlation between the family socio-economic situation (SES) and expenditure, the study assessed the money spent on the children's preschool education, including kindergarten and for extra educational activities. The study also examined the types of extra educational activities for preschoolers, and identified the motives for parental decisions. The families with the lowest income invest significantly fewer financial resources in ECE than the families with low and middle incomes. However, the analysis of the parental preferences and motives in ECE did not confirm that children from poor families are less involved in centrebased classes. Financial constraints lead poorer parents to find other options to provide competitive education. They mostly seek help from family members in conducting ECE, and conduct more ECE activities at home. Furthermore, disadvantaged families try to find the most affordable activities, i.e. cheaper classes at kindergartens or municipal cultural centres. 24th Yasin (April) International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, April 4–14, 2023 https://ecsoc.hse.ru/en/2023-24-1/810787299.html