In the study of lifestyle, experts appeal to different aspects of life. By “lifestyle,” some people understand only consumer practices, others focus their attention on civic and political activity, and others depict it through objective characteristics of employment, education, and welfare. Considering the existing approaches, here we present a description of the lifestyle in big cities of Russia, using data from various sources – from official statistics to sample household surveys to present a picture in detail. Special attention is paid to the cases of the two federal cities – Moscow and St. Petersburg, as the most striking examples of the formation of a special urban lifestyle in contemporary Russia.
The paper presents the composition of regional social expenditure and the role of regional budgets in public social spending as well as the social burden of regional budgets in Russia in the last decade. Also some problematic issues of regional social spending in Russia are discussed.
The paper discusses the popular use of legal services in the Russian Empire in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Although the studies of popular attitudes towards courts and formal legal were before the collapse of the ancien régime in 1917 abound, they overwhelmingly focus on litigation in low-level judicial settings with very few professional lawyers involved, while the relationship between the members of general public and legal professionals largely remained obscure with the main exception of the state criminals and their public defenders. Therefore, this paper aims to fill the gap by exploring the accessibility of legal services to the various groups of general public along with the ways people interpreted the relationships they had with legal practitioners and the conflicts that sprang from the discrepancy between professional and lay approaches to legal services. The paper focuses on the relationships between general public and the most privileged group of lawyers, named sworn attorneys, which appeared after the reform of legal procedure in the mid-1860s and was entitled to a great deal of professional autonomy, including the right to form partially independent local bar associations. These bar associations were supervised by the elected doyens who could bring disciplinary proceedings against sworn attorneys if they failed to peacefully resolve the disputes with their clients, legal officials or colleagues. Since a disciplinary proceeding usually started with a client complaint about lawyer's professional misconduct, the archives of the bar associations seem to offer a rare look at the professional-client relationship from the perspective of ordinary people. This study draws upon the records of the multiple disciplinary proceedings kept in the archive of the Moscow bar association which encompassed sworn attorneys practising in the Central European provinces of the Empire. The scope of primary sources is narrowed down to the records spanning the well documented period between 1883 and 1902 and representing the situation when clients appeared unsatisfied with the way sworn attorneys argued civil cases on their behalf. As the records show, all social groups, including peasantry, made ample use of legal services provided by sworn attorneys to protect their property rights. Furthermore, the proportion of clients from rural areas was on the steady rise during the observed period. Meanwhile, the complaints tended to fall into two groups. While the first group of complainers believed that sworn attorneys failed to adhere to the formal requirements of the legal procedure and, therefore, lost the cases in question, the second group encompassed those who challenged lawyers' professional expertise blaming the loss on the incomprehension or even incoherent legal arguments sworn attorneys had allegedly put forward in the course of lawsuits. The higher social status a complainer had, the more prone she/he was to the second kind of disputes. Nonetheless, there was one thing that the high-status complainers apparently shared with their counterparts of less affluent backgrounds. Surprisingly, most of the complainers, regardless of their social status, demanded sworn attorneys to repay their litigation costs, assuming that legal practitioners would provide a safety net if a lawsuit resulted in significant financial losses.
Drawing on the all-Russia representative survey data, the given paper aims to study public demand of Russians for the state cooperation to solve their problems in three different fields, as of workfare policies, social investment, and social support. Active labour market policies are mostly demanded by youth that is struggling to access good jobs. Demands for active social support are likely to root in personal situations, particularly, those requiring solving financial and housing issues, which these Russians are not able to tackle themselves, thus demanding transfers from the state.Demands for active social investment policies are more are the most heterogeneous. Independence from the state is typical for the most prosperous part of the population who do not face any serious problems. To meet these diverse demands, the government should differentiate and prioritise the means of social policy.
The paper examines factors and trends of concentration of the population and economy in the capitals of 11 countries of the former Soviet Union. Differences in population concentration dynamics over the post-Soviet period have been identified: partial deconcentration during the crisis-stricken 1990s and accelerated concentration since the 2000s. Strong differences in the concentration of the economy, industry, and investments in these capitals are shown to be largely governed by the size and economic structure of their respective countries. The absence of common trends in concentration of the economy in the capitals is shown. High concentrations of housing construction and retail trade that exceed population concentration have been revealed in almost all the capitals. The degree of personal income inequality in the capitals and in the countries outside the capitals is considered, which mainly determines the directions of labor migration: to capitals or outside the national territory.
The paper observes the main patterns of youth consumption and leisure in contemporary Russia. It relies on the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey of HSE, a set of nationally representative household-based surveys which includes data collected from 1994 to 2013. The data shows that by 2010 the level of youth consumption has risen along with the households’ overall income and expenditure. The alleviation of financial problems prompted the redistribution of time between work and leisure, so youth turned to the active cultural consumption, including non-entertainment services. However, the total increase in products and services consumed went hand in hand with the rise of differentiation in the availability of durables, patterns of consumption and leisure practices.
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As defined by the OECD and following the international practice, social spending includes all public costs incurred by paying benefits, providing goods and services, as well as tax deductions and discounts, made for social purposes. Among the beneficiaries of these payments and services may be low-income households or certain social groups, such as the retired, disabled, sick and temporarily disabled people, unemployed, and some others. Social spending is generated by such systems as pension plans, healthcare, education (the OECD statistics covers only early childhood education and care), labor market programs, housing, and family policies. This spending is aimed at redistributing resources across households or targets all the citizens and implies compulsory participation. Apart from the definition above, some Russian authors interpret public social spending broader and include funding of the ...
Low oil prices and the recession in Russia which started in 2014 are increasing pressures for fiscal consolidation, after more than a decade of prosperity. This paper assesses the distributional impact of the main tax and social spending programs in Russia in 2014 by applying a state-of-the-art incidence analysis. Overall, the Russian welfare state achieves a moderate reduction in inequality through tax-benefit policies by international standards. Most redistribution occurs through pensions. Major limits on the redistributive effect of tax-benefit policy include the large share of tax revenues that come from (regressive) indirect taxes, the neutral impact of personal income taxes and the low share of spending that goes on social assistance targeted to low-income groups. Tax-benefit policy also has an important impact on the age distribution of income, as households of working-age people (with and without children) subsidize pensioner households.
In Lieu of an Abstract
Youth in Russia has been undergoing massive dynamic changes in terms of marriage and sexuality over the past two decades. This is one of the main factors that determine the norms and trends in contemporary family evolution. These were caused both by universal processes common to all the developed countries, and the huge radical shifts are induced by reforms in the post-Soviet society. Among the most important changes are an increased age of first marriage, a growing divorce rate, an increasing number of single-parent families, a rising extended family ratio (i.e. married couples or mothers with children living with their parents or other relatives) and non-cohabitating married couples. We can identify some other trends, not only in behavior, but also in the perception Russians have of family and marriage (SDDR, 2010: 65–75)…
Social science debates about sources of generalized trust have prompted growingattention to how children develop faith in others. Much of the evidence, however, hascome from relatively stable and prosperous societies. How might children’s trust differin societies that have experienced rapid and destabilizing transitions, as in postcommuniststates? Using new evidence on Russia from three waves of a survey between2006 and 2014, the authors show that children’s trust is relatively low, reflecting lowtrust among parents, children’s sense of economic insecurity, and their doubts aboutthe fairness of key institutions. But rising cohorts since the early 2000s display moretrust than their parents and than their earlier counterparts. Thus old patterns ofdistrust do not necessarily persist intact.
This article (one of a series of two articles) analyzes specific features of income stratification in Russia in comparison with other countries (Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Venezuela, Mexico, China) based on data from several nationwide surveys. It demonstrates that the income stratification model, which refers average per capita incomes at a specific household to the median income in a country, captures well the peculiarities involved in different models of society. It uses the data of an international comparative study, International Social Survey Programme (ISSP), to show that the Russian income stratification model is typical of Europe. At the same time, Russia is in-between Europe and the former Third World in terms of the extent of income inequalities.
In the later decade Russia continued progress in terms of economic growth and lowering poverty. Yet Russia was much less successful in reducing inequality which skyrocketed after the market liberalization reforms in the early 1990s. Currently inequality in Russia has stabilized at the level which is significantly above the OECD average: the average Gini coefficient for the OECD countries in 2014 was 0.318, while it was 0.416 in Russia. Current macroeconomic environment with continuous recession, which started in 2014 and massive terms of trade shock due to collapse of oil prices, threatens to reverse Russia’s substantial achievements in terms of raising incomes of the population and reducing poverty. This chapter aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of income and wealth inequality in Russia and the impact of the current crisis. The focus throughout the chapter is on the national distribution of income and wealth. In market economies income and wealth serve as good predictors of well-being in other domains, such as social inclusion, education, health, etc.
The study explores the so-called ‘Kyrgyz clinics’ and their place in the migrant infrastructure of Moscow, Russia. We focus on the unique status of these clinics specifically aimed at and tailored for the migrants’ medical and psychosocial needs. We have found that the role of Kyrgyz clinics is not limited to the provision of affordable medical services. It is a milieu where the migrant patients come with their problems to migrant doctors, and where they can use their native language and cultural code to talk about their health problems. In particular, Kyrgyz doctors at such clinics play the role of intermediaries between migrants and other medical institutions of Moscow, as migrants often lack information about budget healthcare services in Moscow. We also briefly outline how migrants use informal strategies and networks to overcome the barriers to receiving medical care.
Western Siberia and the entire Arctic region have been a beacon for migrants from the European part of Russia, from the national republics and the southern regions of Siberia in the post-war era. In contrast with the other regions of Siberia, the oil- and gas-rich North remains a magnet for migration from the entire former Soviet Union to this day. This paper presents research into the contemporary socio-cultural environment of Yar-Sale, the administrative centre of the Yamal district of Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The research focuses on the migrational experiences of ‘new’ migrants and their relations with the native Nenets population. Special attention is paid to concepts such as ‘local’/‘immigrant’, and ‘insider’/‘outsider’. The author holds that the boundaries between these categories are flexible. An immigrant may become a local and an insider may become an outsider, with ethnicity far from always being the deciding factor.
A period of qualitative changes in Russia has led to the transformation of many social aspects, including the social structure. Unsurprisingly, its specific features and certain social groups and strata are of particular interest at the moment. Both the scientific community and the general public are traditionally interested in the social entity of middle class. The term “middle class”, however, does not have a universal definition. Its meaning has been changing along with the social development and social structure transformations, depending on the historical context of a society. Moreover, several conceptually different approaches to identifying the middle class were emerging separately (due to the fact that middle class analysis was based on different goals and objectives that required different methodologies). In Russia, there is ongoing theoretical debate over the necessary and sufficient conditions for classifying an individual or a household as middle-class. Arguments for existence of the middle class in the country are quite often completely different as a result of diverse approaches and respective criteria, as well as the chosen thresholds, for identifying the sought-for middle class. Differences in the methodology of middle class identification lead to a considerable spread in the estimates of its share, from 2-3% to at least half of the population. Chapter presents different approaches to middle class definition, brief history of middle class studies in Russia and main results concerning specifics of Russian middle class from different research studies.
This article examines ethnic segregation at school level in Russia and the symbolic boundaries constructed around schools attended by children of migrants, as well as inside them. While Russian cities are notable for the very low degree of spatial segregation along ethnic lines, numerous studies demonstrate that in recent years local residents have come to perceive some institutions as ‘migrant schools’ as these have pupils of more diverse ethnic backgrounds. In particular, children of migrants and ‘local’ children create their own symbolic divides between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that reflects the degree of a pupil’s integration into the host society rather than her ethnic origins. When conflict situations break out between schoolchildren, the migrant stereotypes current in wider society are reproduced. On the school administration level, the main problem is a lack of adaptation programmes for children of migrants, as well as lessons in Russian as a second language.
Tha chapter considers the stages of the economic and social development in Russia and discusses definitions, dynamics, structure and factors of poverty in the country.