Social inequalities in post-reform Russia: A sociological diagnosis

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Abstract


The article considers social inequality as a key feature of the development of the contemporary society and social sciences. On the one hand, it is an objective and progressive process without which successful (creative) development of society and individual is impossible; on the other hand, it may lead to dramatic social stratification, provoke a growth of social tensions, and destabilize society. In the Russian scientific discourse the social inequalities and their consequences are explained with the help of two concepts - social-stratification structure, i.e. a multidimensionally organized social space in which social groups differ in terms of possession of power, property and social status; and social strata , i.e. social-economic groups occupying different and unequal places in the macro-social system. The author uses a wide range of empirical (statistical and sociological) data to present the picture of social model in the contemporary Russian society focusing on the dramatic stratification in terms of wealth and the income gap (the decile ratio) widening to a critical mark; interpreting the Russian data in the international context (the current and optimum decile ratio in different countries); identifying statistical and sociological indicators for measuring different aspects of social inequality (for instance, the differentiation of incomes as the deviation of the actual income distribution from absolutely equal); emphasizing regional differences in social inequalities in Russia; and discussing possible mechanisms and means of mitigating social inequalities. The second part of the article presents the results of the national sociological research conducted by the experts of the Institute of Sociology and underlies some other dimensions of social inequalities as gender relations and an access to modern computer technologies and telecommunications and their correct use. The author concludes that the high level of social-economic and other types of inequalities in Russia undermines the social capital of the society and forms an enduring “culture of inequality” which is marked by a high level of aggression and a low level of cohesion.


The problem of social inequalities has been a key focus of attention at all the stages in the development of social sciences. The main reason is that any type of inequality is a distinct form of social differentiation, which accounts for differences in the living conditions of individuals and social groups, different access to economic, social, political, information and other resources, thus defining different opportunities for meeting their needs and interests that may differ widely in their character and origin. Everything that is connected with meeting people’s needs and interests has at all times presented special interest for social research and for sociology which is its theoretical underpinning. Nowadays qualitative and quantitative differences of living conditions and needs manifest themselves primarily in different opportunities and scale of possession of property, inequalities in income, power, prestige, education, social and professional positions and types of activity. Not surprisingly, these are, to use the sociological language, the main categories in assessing inequality. Social differentiation as such becomes a complex and contradictory process. On the one hand, it is an objective and progressive process without which successful (creative) development of society and the individual is impossible; on the other hand, it may lead to dramatic social stratification. Such features of social inequalities that grew out of the natural historical development as diversity, inevitability and exogeneity, admissibility and redundancy coupled with their potential of provoking a growth of social tensions, and destabilizing society had attracted representatives of various areas of social sciences and humanities to the essence of this phenomenon long before the 19th century, when sociology began to acquire the status of an independent area of social knowledge: in Antique times - Plato and Aristotle, later - Machiavelli and Hobbs, Locke and Rousseau, Hegel and Darwin. The attention of the scholarly community to the inequalities was most notably reflected in the sociological literature. The classics of “traditional” (Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer), “modernist” (Max Weber, Pitirim Sorokin, Talcott Parsons) and post-modernist sociology (Pierre Bourdieu and others) declared the principle of social inequality and its great functional significance for organizing social communities to be fundamental and unassailable. While specific forms of inequality change, the underlying principle is manifested always. Pitirim Sorokin who associated inequality with the hierarchic structure of society, wrote: “If for a moment some forms of stratification are eliminated they re-emerge in the old or modified shape, and are often created by the hands of the advocates of equality themselves” [13. P. 306]. He identified a number of reasons for the endurance of social forms of inequality that stratify society vertically including: the growing numbers, diversity and heterogeneity of people who form communities, the need to maintain group stability, spontaneous self-differentiation and functional distribution of activities in a community. One can observe that in the Russian social sciences the social inequalities and their consequences have gained scientific status fairly recently. The analysis of the works of Russian scholars reveals two main concepts used to study the relations of inequality emerging in Russia today: social-stratification structure, i.e. a multidimensionally organized social space in which social groups differ in terms of possession of power, property and social status; social strata, i.e. social-economic groups occupying different and unequal places in the macro-social system. Proceeding from theoretical premises and the results of many years of empirical studies Russian scholars seek to obtain the fullest possible picture of social and stratification model of the contemporary Russian society. The studies focus on new forms of social differentiation and integration and social stratification; the features of the social-economic stratification of Russia’s population including the practices of excessive economic inequality observed in all ‘sectors’ of national economy, i.e. by territory, income, consumption and savings, property distribution, disposable human and social capital, etc. [17; 19]. Despite obvious differences in the approaches to defining the essence and causes of social inequalities, and the conflicting interpretations of their role in society, the majority of experts in and outside Russia believe that the phenomenon is endemic and cannot be eradicated in principle. The British-German sociologist, philosopher, political scientist and public figure Ralf Dahrendorf remarked that even in a prosperous society unequal position of people remains an important and intransient phenomenon. Of course, these differences no longer stem from overt violence and legal norms that sustained the system of privileges in the societies of castes and estates. Even so, in addition to crude differentiation as to the size of property and incomes, prestige and power, our society is characterized by a multitude of differences that are so subtle and yet so deeply rooted that the claims that all forms of inequality will disappear as a result of equalizing processes should be met with skepticism at least [20. P. 3]. Thus an important question for many generations of social scientists who studied inequalities from various structural and substantive perspective was not whether it is possible to totally get rid of various inequalities, but how justified are the inequalities in different types of societie? What are the admissible limits of inequalities in various spheres of social life? And what can the state do to minimize social inequalities, equalize people’s chances of having a decent life that corresponds to their abilities and aspirations? These questions are particularly relevant and pressing in post-Soviet Russia where the market was introduced under the deep economic crisis, escalation of unemployment and cost of living, a dramatically increased gap between rich and poor and a significant drop in the level of mass consumption. The 1990s witnesses radical reforms at the high social-economic price which affected to varying degrees all spheres of Russian society, dramatically changed the life of the Russians many of whom proved to be unable to adapt to the rapidly changing social environment. The habitual reliance on the “nanny state” and the situation of relative well-being was replaced with a socially amorphous governance system, which sought to drop its obligations to address social tasks to the same extent and within the same limits as before. As a consequence, one of the key characteristics of the Russian society happened to be the high level of the social-economic inequality determined by the sharp growth of the decile ratio of income differentiation (the income difference between the top 10% and the bottom 10%), which by 1995 had increased 4.5 times on the previous decade (from 3 to 13.5 respectively). The situation was worsened by the pursuit of radical liberal reforms inspired by not very felicitous examples of the Western economic thought. The avalanche-like destruction of property relations and unregulated and uncontrolled privatization of state property and national natural resources opened the floodgates for an unbridled and unjustified widening of the social gap. As a result, within a mere 10-15 years the country faced huge social differentiation within various groups of the Russian population and unprecedented social inequalities. Based on the Federal Statistical Service data experts had to conclude that “social inequality in Russia is breaking new records.” According to the results of the study “Russians through the mirror of consumption” (September 2010) the Federal Statistical Service admitted that although the Russian population has grown much richer over the past twenty years and the country has joined the medium-income group it also witnessed a dramatic stratification in terms of wealth [4]. And indeed, the growth of real incomes in Russia since the 2000s and the growth of the group of super-rich Russians did not lead to the well-being of the Russian society as a whole. Moreover, under the above mentioned trends the income gap, far from diminishing, continued to widen towards a critical mark. The years preceding the 2008-2009 crisis passed under the tacit slogan of “economic growth in favor of the rich.” According to the Federal Statistical Service, the gap between the incomes of the top 10% and the bottom 10% of Russians increased from 13.9 to 16.7 times from 2000 to 2007 [6]. Paradoxically, in the crisis years (2008-2010) the decile ratio stabilized at 16.6 times before increasing to 16.8 times at the end of 2014 under another crisis (Table 1) (3) [14]. The fact that it dropped to 15.6 times in 2015 indicates not that the poor pulled themselves up a bit to approach the mean value, but rather a dip in the wealth of the high-income group due to the doubling of the currency exchange rate due to the crisis. Table 1 Dynamics of decile ratio of income inequality (1995-2015, times) Year Decile ratio 1995 13.5 1998 13.8 2001 13.9 2003 14.5 2005 15.2 2006 15.9 2007 16.7 2008-2010 16.6 2011 16.2 2012 16.4 2013 16.3 2014 16.8 2015 15.6 This ratio in the Scandinavian countries (Denmark, Finland, Sweden) is 3-4 times and in Germany, Austria and France it varies within the range of 5 to 7 times. The results send an eloquent and dangerous message, however the danger is not so much in a social upheaval as happened in Russia in the early 20th century triggering a series of revolutionary events and sending the decile ratio to 25 times, as in social apathy when more and more people feel to be outsiders. According to economics experts, the optimum ratio is between 5 and 7 times. Indeed, there are grounds for saying that as soon as the decile ratio exceeds 10 the conditions for social instability appear. The rule though does not apply to the USA where the ratio hovers around 12 and considered to be normal, because according to the prevailing American philosophy the poor are themselves to blame for their poverty. Considering the level of social inequalities foreign experts turn to the Gini coefficient, a quantitative statistical indicator for measuring the differentiation of people’s incomes as the deviation of the actual income distribution from absolutely equal (among all citizens). The coefficient reflects the stratification of the country or region in accordance with certain features. In Russia it was 0.416 in 2014 (the maximum value of 1.0 corresponds to absolute inequality) [9]. It has to be noted that unlike developed Western countries the gaps in the incomes of Russians vary greatly from region to region. Russia has one of the highest levels of regional inequality: people in the richest region can be times better off than those in the poorest. Such an unlimited differentiation of incomes and the deepening of social inequalities lead to fundamental losses including a sharp drop of the quality of the population as witnessed by the steady decline of the Human Development Index (HDI) since the 1990s. In 2014, it was 0.798 (50th place in the world) [21] while in the USSR - 0.920 (26th place in the world). Considering the above-mentioned trends and the actual state of affairs no wonder that much of the discussion focuses on mechanisms and means of mitigating social inequalities, and the most effective social policy for our country that can keep social inequality within the boundaries that do not exceed certain sound (socially and scientifically grounded) limits which, if exceeded, are fraught with conflicts and disintegration of society. However, such discussions remain on the periphery of the public domain. At best the problems of inequalities are discussed by the expert community, mainly by economists, sociologists and political scientists. That is why one of the tasks in the national sociological research program pursued by experts of the Institute of Sociology was to conduct an analysis of the public opinion on the problems of inequality in the context of social-economic differentiation in the post-reform Russian society. The results of this research are as follows: First, people’s opinions about inequalities in the society reflect an admittedly subjective but real picture of obviously excessive social inequalities: only 4% of Russians believe that there are no unjustified inequalities in the society today; an overwhelming majority - both poor and not poor - do not notice the painful inequalities at large, but personally experience them. What socio-economic inequalities are perceived by Russians as the most harmful for society and for them personally? The data show that the biggest complaint is income inequality which harms them personally and society as a whole (Table 2). Table 2 Harmful inequalities Inequalities Personally For society 1 Income inequality 66% 82% 2 Inequalities of access to medical care 39% 59% 3 Inequalities of access to good jobs 32% 48% 4 Inequality of housing conditions 30% 61% 5 Inequalities of opportunities for children 18% 31% 6 Inequality of access to education 16% 40% 7 Inequality of property ownership 12% 18% 8 Inequality of leisure opportunities 12% 14% 9 There are no inequalities 9% 3% Along with income inequality people are sensitive to inequality in housing conditions, access to quality medical care and quality education. Another type of inequality that Russians feel strongly about is at the labor market, that is, unequal access to good jobs. The comparative analysis shows that the reactions of poor and well-off people to the most salient kinds of inequalities in terms of their social significance do not show any substantial differences. The ranking of inequalities that are most painful for society are practically the same for the poorest strata and average Russians. By contrast, the opinions of Russians on inequalities that affect them personally reveal noticeable differences with poor Russians complaining more frequently about inequality of income, access to quality medical care, good housing conditions and good jobs, and about inequality before the law (legal inequality). The majority of Russians are acutely aware of the inequalities in the post-reform period, that is why is not surprising that nearly two-thirds (62%) believe that although differences in living standards in a just society exist they cannot be as huge as today. No wonder people expect the state to deal with the excessive inequalities: 64% believe that the government must take measures to bridge the gap in incomes, and this opinion is shared by rich and poor people alike (Table 3). Table 3 What people think about income and living standards inequalities (%) Estimates Poor Not poor 1 A big difference of incomes is necessary to reflect the differences of talents and effort 34% 41% 2 There are and will always be inequalities in any society, it is natural and fair 41% 51% 3 In a just society differences in people’s living standards should not be too great 66% 60% 4 The government must take measures to narrow the gaps in incomes 70% 62% Judging by the results of the international study [22], the proportion of Russians who think the government should take measures to narrow the gap in incomes is not much different from the similar indicators in Germany (66%), the UK (66%) or China (71%). The Russians in that respect are not unique and do not exhibit an excessive inclination for universal equality. A different attitude prevails in the US society where culture and mentality are different: only 33% think that the government should take measures to diminish income gaps. While the majority of our citizens, regardless of their material status, react sharply to various types of inequalities, they admit that inequalities in society must exist, but only if there are legitimate grounds for them. What are the grounds for inequality that Russians consider to be legitimate and therefore fair? First, dynamic and efficient work provided there is equal access to “good” jobs and opportunities “to earn.” In other words, people display greater tolerance to income inequality if it is the result of more efficient work. That is why 74% of Russians agree that it is fair for those who work faster and more efficiently to be paid more, even if their formal position may be the same. Thus, efficient work is more important than the formal hierarchy, and this indicator explains the attitude of Russians to justice and its role in regulating social relations, including labor relations. The majority of Russians also believe that income differences are fair if people have equal opportunities to earn, which again indicates that people want to live in a society of equal opportunities and not a society of equal incomes. Finally, another justification of income inequality is that one-third of Russians consider as largely legitimate the differences of income between people with different education levels. Differences of professions as grounds for differences of income are considered both fair and unfair (47% and 53% respectively). The opinion polls show that although the poor are on the whole less inclined to agree with various grounds for inequality, qualitatively speaking their position reflects the general picture for the population including well-off Russians (Table 4). Table 4 What Russians think about fair and unfair grounds for inequalities (%) (4) Proposition Poor: agree / disagree Not poor: agree / disagree It is fair that those who work faster and more efficiently are paid more than people in the same position who work less efficiently 67 / 8 77 / 6 When some people have more money than others it is fair if they had equal opportunities to earn 54 / 18 69 / 10 It is fair that those who have a higher level of education earn more 55 / 17 64 / 9 It is fair for people in different professions to be paid differently 39 / 28 49 / 21 To such manifestations of inequalities as better housing, higher pensions, access to quality healthcare and education people are less tolerant, and this applies not only to poor Russians, but also to the population in general. However, the formula “big incomes - better housing” is accepted by more people, even the poor, than rejected (41% and 27% respectively). The situation is similar in assessing the fairness of larger pensions for those who have higher salaries (38% agree and 30% disagree). At the same time, the majority of Russians consider unacceptable unequal access to medical services and education. 56% consider it unfair when people with higher incomes have access to the higher quality medical service; 60% consider unfair that people with higher incomes buy a better education for their children. The controversial attitude of Russians to the access to quality health service and education suggests an interesting conclusion: in the Russian public opinion, tolerance to various types of social inequalities contradicts the value of equal opportunities. For example, Russians tolerate income inequality while recognizing that it inevitably influences people’s lives. To some extent this contradiction (a conflict of self-consciousness) is reflected in the fact that about a half of Russians believe that nowadays it is hard to tell what is fair and what is not (47%), and about a third (29%) find it hard either to agree or disagree with that proposition. Considering the concept of justice as important for the Russian system of values the above data show that the clash of normative ideas with the real state of affairs (both in personal lives and in society as a whole) leads to an inner conflict and to problems in qualifying various inequalities as fair or unfair. Considering the deepening social inequalities, the shut-down of “social lifts” and growing illegitimacy of differences in the opportunities of various social strata, people increasingly tend to consider the majority of social-economic inequalities unfair. Thus, under the excessive and illegitimate inequalities the system of normative and value perceptions of Russians in the pivotal area of their worldview gradually changes [9]. Does it signify the general growth of anti-market sentiments, paternalism or a revival of Soviet-era attitudes? No, it does not for even on the unequal access to healthcare and education the Russians are much different from other nations. For example, in Germany 13% (less than in Russia) consider inequalities of access to medical services fair, while 72% consider them unfair; for the education 10% and 75% respectively. In France, there is even less tolerance to inequalities of access to the basic social services (3% and 86% for medical services and 8% and 74% for education) [22]. Another important problem is the attitude of poor working Russians to inequalities. The opinion polls show that working Russians are less tolerant than non-working ones to income inequality: fewer of them agree that more efficient and diligent work, as well as education and profession, can be fair grounds for different incomes. The working Russians are most keenly aware of their plight and, not seeing a fair link between hard work and improvement of their position, are most unhappy about the whole spectrum of problems with inequality in general and its concrete manifestations. Hence, a harsh but justified diagnosis: a keen awareness of the working population of the injustice around them is a negative sign of the erosion of labor motivation and a potential source of the social-economic instability. Furthermore, it means that the inequalities are resented more by those who assess them not so much in terms of their values and norms (like non-working pensioners, for example) as in terms of the real situation in society which they perceive as unfair. This is another manifestation of the conflict between the Russian normative model of society with inequalities that are reasonable in scale and depth and legitimate, on the one hand, and its practical implementation in present-day Russia, on the other hand. This model is marked by excessive inequalities that have no legitimate grounds in the eyes of the population and lack the direct connection between people’s efforts and their position in society. The working Russians in such realities begin to change the normative and value attitudes towards Russian culture and their ideas of what is and what is not fair in the society. Considering social inequalities we should note that its various types have evolved over history manifesting in more and more complex forms, and, accordingly, the grounds determining them have been changing. As a result, under the today’s conditions inequalities (and their most profound and large-scale manifestations) are perceived largely as a combined result of various social factors (life style, division of labor, social roles, etc.) for inequalities transfer into economic, social, political and other varieties that are inseparably bound with various factors of differentiation in the society. However, social practices show that things are not as simple as may seem. One indication of this is the existence (and in some extreme cases flourishing) in some social groups of certain types of social inequalities that seem to be rooted in an era long gone by: when social differentiation was determined primarily by the social-demographic status. I am referring to belonging to certain gender, age, race and other communities. One such inequality is gender inequality, a social system in which various social groups (men and women) are considered inherently different and have unequal opportunities in society (5). Gender relations have from times immemorial been based on economic, social and political supremacy of the male. Up to a certain point in time gender differences in terms of prestige and power as if determined by inborn qualities were taken for granted. Industrialization eliminated the functional significance of gender differences and questioned their validity in general. Nowadays, due to the emergence and development of gender equality institutions (legislative, structural, and organizational, represented by various social norms that dictate the need for gender education and renunciation of gender stereotypes) women have formally gained equal rights with men. Society has legally sealed and legitimized their equality and seeks to strengthen and develop it in every way. An overwhelming majority of women are engaged in social production often holding key posts. Today a woman engineer, a woman scientist, or a woman executive is an ordinary phenomenon. The importance of one of the main factors that made woman subordinate to man - economic dependence - is gradually diminishing. A modern woman often earns as much as (if not more than) a man: as a result a husband in such families is not the main, let alone sole bread-winner (6). And yet the structure of modern society still remains very patriarchal, therefore the problem of gender inequality exists to varying degrees in most countries including the most developed ones. First, the “gender bias” manifests in wage statistics, career growth, and income owing to which women are at a disadvantage compared to men. The statistical and sociological data supports an uncomfortable conclusion that in post-reform Russia gender stereotypes permeate the social fabric (the spheres of employment, politics, family relations, etc.) Gender inequality is even “justified” by the traditional attitudes of Russian society - sexism which assumes man’s superiority over woman. Not only the types of inequalities rooted in pre-historic times are worth a scientific study - there are also fundamentally new types of social inequalities. Such undoubtedly include digital inequalities arising in the Russian society from the objective and positive process of its turning into an information society or knowledge-based society. This signals a new stage in the development of humanity at which the main value that determines the well-being of individuals and the states is not so much material goods as easily accessible information, or rather, knowledge obtained from it. Four hundred years ago the English philosopher Francis Bacon declared that “knowledge is power”. Today, when the amount of knowledge on the planet doubles every five years, his words are more relevant than ever. In present-day conditions to “possess knowledge” means to be able to quickly pick one’s way in the flood of new information extracting the necessary knowledge from it, and the cost of search for information should not exceed the economic benefits from using it. This is a task that can be accomplished only by computers, these “amplifiers” of human reason and memory, the key instruments for the storage and transmission of data. The key to success in the information society is access to computer technologies and telecommunications and their correct use. The success depending on a person’s attitude to computer and telecommunications revolution is known as the Digital Divide. It gives rise to the problem of “digital inequality”: the opportunities offered by digital technologies are staggering, but only a small percentage of the Earth’s population can use them to achieve social and economic goals. Thus, in the information society “the digital divide” becomes a key factor that separates the rich and the poor. Back in 1997, the UN Development Program introduced a new dimension of poverty called information poverty, i.e. limited access of the broad social strata to the information. Experts claim that the unprecedented social stratification in Russia has got a new dimension - inequality of access to information technologies, which creates a new marginal strata deprived of access to the communications world. “Digital poverty” deprives millions of Russians of the opportunity to communicate, get an education, medical care and information services. The information turns from a social good into a private good, and this is an additional factor of instability which is particularly dangerous under the transformations of society. The key risk is that in the “two-tiered” society only part of the population has access to modern technologies, knows how to use them and derive benefits from them. Thus, the social inequalities traditionally manifested in the sharp contrast between the center and the periphery are aggravated by “digital inequality”. The “information luxury” of megalopolises where all modern telecommunications means are available is an opposite of the Russian hinterland which is often totally cut off from all communications. Thus, the territorial factor acquires the status of one of the key factors of information inequality in Russia. The high level of the socio-economic and other types of inequalities in Russia aggravated by the decline of main development indices undermines the social capital of the Russian society, forms an enduring “culture of inequality” which is marked by a high level of aggression and a low level of cohesion. Challenging modern Russia, putting a brake on systemic modernization and economic development, blocking its transition to the innovation-driven stage, social inequalities deepen the polarization of the society, engender apathy and passivity among social strata prompting the radically-minded members of society to resort to illegitimate forms of protest and political extremism. Moreover, as research and daily practices show, excessive inequalities erode the foundations of social cohesion, create a climate of confrontation and intolerance, impede the achievement of national harmony, create a gap between society and power. NOTES (1) Social differentiation is the division of society into elements that imply delimitation and specialization of the components of social organism, the emergence of new structures, statuses and roles. The term was introduced by Herbert Spencer to describe the emergence of functionally specialized institutions and division of labor. (2) Along with official statistics, there are also unofficial data usually obtained by mass surveys. The latter put the decile ratio in 2013 at 28-30 times. In Moscow, the decile ratio in some years reached a staggering 40 times and more. (3) The table does not include those who chose the answer “somewhat agree and somewhat disagree” and “hard to say”. (4) The gender inequality and the problems it generates were recognized by scholars thanks to the concept of gender introduced in the 1980s as differing from the traditional concept “sex”; it became the foundation of the feminist theory [12]. (5) Current sociological studies reveal an interesting picture: most respondents define their family as a family with the head not identified. This made demographers introduce a new concept “biarchate”. Unlike matriarchate where the woman was the head of the family and patriarchate with the absolute power of the man we are in a period of an egalitarian family in which the partners - husband and wife - have equal rights. REFERENCES [1] Belyayeva L.A. Social Stratification and the Middle Class in Russia: 10 Post-Soviet Years. Moscow: Academia, 2001 (In Russ.). [2] Golenkova Z.T. Transformation of the Social Structure and Stratification of the Russian Society. Moscow: IS RAS, 2000 (In Russ.). [3] Zaslavskaya T.I. Societal Transformation of the Russian Society: Activity-Structure Concept. Moscow: Delo, 2003 (In Russ.). [4] Zinenko I., Vlasova I. Social Inequality in Russia Reaches a New Hight. URL: http://newsland.com/ news/detail/id/563868 (In Russ.). [5] Mareeva S.V. The idea of justice in the portrait of society Russians dream of. What Russians Dream of: Ideal and Reality. Ed. by M.K. Gorshkov, R. Krumm, N.E. Tikhonova. Moscow: Ves’ Mir, 2013. Pp. 54-76 (In Russ.). [6] Milovzorov M.A. The World Turns Bipolar Again. URL: http://www.utro.ru/articles/2008/ 04/07/728835.shtml (In Russ.). [7] Modernization of the Social Structure of the Russian Society. Ex. ed. Z.T. Golenkova. Moscow: IS RAS, 2008 (In Russ.). [8] Radayev V.V. Social Stratification. Moscow: Aspekt Press, 1996 (In Russ). [9] Distribution of Total Volume of Incomes and Characteristics of Differentiation of People’s Incomes. URL: http://www.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosstat_main/rosstat/ru/statistics/population/ poverty (In Russ.) [10] Russia: the New Social Reality: Rich. Poor. Middle Class. Ed. by M.K. Gorshkov, N.E. Tikhonova. Moscow: Nauka, 2004 (In Russ.). [11] Rutkevich M.N. Social Structure. Moscow: Alfa-M, 2004 (In Russ.). [12] Scott J. 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M K Gorshkov

Institute of Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences

Author for correspondence.
Email: director@isras.ru

Russian Federation, 17218, ul. Krzyzanowski, d. 24/35, k. 5, Moscow, Russia

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Academician, Director, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences. 

  • Belyayeva L.A. Social Stratification and the Middle Class in Russia: 10 Post-Soviet Years. Moscow: Academia, 2001 (In Russ.).
  • Golenkova Z.T. Transformation of the Social Structure and Stratification of the Russian Socie-ty. Moscow: IS RAS, 2000 (In Russ.).
  • Zaslavskaya T.I. Societal Transformation of the Russian Society: Activity-Structure Concept. Moscow: Delo, 2003 (In Russ.).
  • Zinenko I., Vlasova I. Social Inequality in Russia Reaches a New Hight. URL: http://newsland.com/news/detail/id/563868 (In Russ.).
  • Mareeva S.V. The idea of justice in the portrait of society Russians dream of. What Russians Dream of: Ideal and Reality. Ed. by M.K. Gorshkov, R. Krumm, N.E. Tikhonova. Moscow: Ves’ Mir, 2013. Pp. 54-76 (In Russ.).
  • Milovzorov M.A. The World Turns Bipolar Again. URL: http://www.utro.ru/articles/2008/04/07/728835.shtml (In Russ.).
  • Modernization of the Social Structure of the Russian Society. Ex. ed. Z.T. Golenkova. Mos-cow: IS RAS, 2008 (In Russ.).
  • Radayev V.V. Social Stratification. Moscow: Aspekt Press, 1996 (In Russ).
  • Distribution of Total Volume of Incomes and Characteristics of Differentiation of People’s Incomes. URL: http://www.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosstat_main/rosstat/ru/statistics/population/poverty (In Russ.)
  • Russia: the New Social Reality: Rich. Poor. Middle Class. Ed. by M.K. Gorshkov, N.E. Tikhonova. Moscow: Nauka, 2004 (In Russ.).
  • Rutkevich M.N. Social Structure. Moscow: Alfa-M, 2004 (In Russ.).
  • Scott J. Gender: Useful category for historical analysis. Introduction to Gender Studies. Part II: Anthology. Ed. by S.V. Zherebkin. Kharkov: Kharkov Center for Gender Studies; St. Petersburg: Aleteia, 2001. Pp. 405-436 (In Russ.).
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