Class identity of the working-class youth in contemporary Russia


The article considers the social self-identification of the Russian working youth and its class identity. The relevance of the topic is due to the need to search for basic indicators of the identity of the working class in the post-industrial era as connected with the fundamental differences between wage labour in the service sectors from the labour of industrial workers. The article presents an overview of contemporary concepts of multiple and fragmented identity, outlines the main vectors of controversy in the debates on identification processes and identity politics in contemporary societies; describes the basic features of the identification of the working class in the post-industrial era - the nature and content of labour; ownership of property and participation in the management of the enterprise. The contemporary working class is defined as a nonhomogeneous entity with internal differentiation determined by such factors as the form of employment, sphere of employment, income level, lifestyle and cultural capital. The empirical part of the research was implemented in the Ural Federal District in 2018 based on the mass and expert surveys. The results of the study prove that there are active processes of class formation in the Russian society; therefore, we need to revive the class approach to the description of the social structure. More than 50% of young people from the traditional industrial working class still identify themselves as members of this social group, while the same applies only to every third worker of routine service; and identification with the middle class loses popularity. The empirical data show the paradoxical nature of the working-class thinking and the instability of its basic orientations. The contradictory assessments and statements of the respondents confirm the vagueness of their class consciousness and the instability of their class identity.

About the authors

V. V. Gavrilyuk

Industrial University of Tyumen

Author for correspondence.

доктор социологических наук, профессор кафедры маркетинга и муниципального управления

Volodarskogo St., 38, Tyumen, 625000, Russia

T. V. Gavrilyuk

Industrial University of Tyumen


кандидат социологических наук, ведущий научный сотрудник Центра перспективных исследований и инновационных разработок

Volodarskogo St., 38, Tyumen, 625000, Russia


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