This paper employs the concepts of cultural narrative to examine career choice among post-Soviet Russian teenagers going into higher education. Drawing on insights from cultural sociology more broadly and the cultural autonomy thesis more specifically, we demonstrate how the cultural narrative of a university degree as a ‘must-have at all costs’ subjugates various career decision-making logics identified, while downplaying individual agency and reflexivity. We argue that, by misdirecting career choice from opportunities to constraints, the dominant narrative serves to limit, rather than diversify, young people’s career choice and social mobility potential. We go on to theorise the interplay between culture and social institutions. Drawing on the cultural interpretation of Unified State Exam – a neoliberal educational governance tool – we show how cultural narrative hijacks institutional interpretations and usages, re-grounding neoliberal sensibilities in Soviet-era ones.
Counterfinality is the unintended consequences stemming from uncoordinated actions. It may be described as a complex theoretical problem, including understanding the motive for action, transition from individual goals to collective results, and unintended consequences. Understanding the motive for action is an initial challenge in the study of counterfinality. This understanding can be reached by having a stock of social knowledge and an understanding of typical situations and typical motives. However, attempt to describe a motive for action is only a hypothesis, and the actual course of events is the basis for understanding action. Therefore ethnographic observations come first in describing counterfinality. After that, it is important to trace transition from these actions to collective irrational consequences. Such a transition is possible because of the shortsightedness of individuals focused only on their private goals. In addition to these misperceptions, unintended collective consequences may have other conditions of occurrence: insufficient information, publicly voiced predictions and etc. The presented sequence of counterfinality description from action to consequences is theoretical reference point while a detailed description of all stages of counterfinality emergence is the task for an empirical study.
The period from 2013 to 2019 was one of relative continuity in policies for physical education (PE), school sport and physical activity (PESSPA) in England. Starting from the advent of the government’s flagship PE and Sport Premium (PES Premium) initiative in 2013, the end of the period was reached 20 with renewed uncertainty in 2020 about the future of PESSPA policy. It is therefore an appropriate point for this article to ‘take stock’ of PESSPA policies and their consequences since 2013. The political science literature on policy design underpins the approach to considering the mix of both policy goals and those instruments used by governments to achieve them. To do so, a comprehensive set of policy documents, published reports, academic literature and empirical research on schools’ use of the PES Premium was interrogated. Policy goals articulated by government since 2013 reinforced, rather than resolved, long-standing debates about the purpose of PESSPA. Health-related objectives rose in prominence, but sat uneasily alongside continued commitments to competitive sport. Only a narrow range of the policy instruments available to governments were used in pursuit of their policy goals. PES Premium funding was solely distributed to primary schools, with limited use of regulation and information systems to shape PESSPA provision. These aspects of policy design contributed to increasing reliance on external coaches in primary schools and indicators of a decline in secondary school provision and participation, resonant of prioritisation of short-term approaches over longer-term strategic development. Possibilities for improving future PESSPA policies are considered as a result.
The relationship between social capital and sport has been an increasing focus of scholarly literature in recent decades. However, very few of these studies consider social capital alongside theories of cultural consumption. Even fewer seek to assess the place of social capital in sports spectatorship. Taking primarily a Bourdieusian and neo-Bourdieusian theoretical approach, this study seeks to rectify these gaps by analysing three key components of social capital – social network size, social network prestige and social network variety – and how they relate to patterns of sports spectatorship and participation. Results indicate that the type of social capital that is most predictive seems to rely heavily upon the nature of the cleavages between cultural patterns of sports engagement. While the size of social network seems most universally applicable to predict sports engagement generally, network variety also seems to be highly applicable to the most omnivorous engagement profiles. Finally, network prestige appears applicable to some highbrow profiles of sports engagement.
The participation in different forms of leisure has often been ascribed the power to reflect and reproduce social inequalities. While some came before, this intellectual endeavour increased substantially with the seminal work of Pierre Bourdieu’s Distinction. While Bourdieu’s writings on culture did not neglect sports, sport is often neglected in subsequent studies of culture. Most of the subsequent theoretical and empirical work on culture has focused upon music and the arts, many also arguing that Bourdieu’s work is now dated. This paper seeks to provide an important empirical examination of social position and sports participation. It also seeks to test of the relevance of Bourdieu’s theories today in this area of culture. For these investigations, I use large-scale survey data and various statistical methods to test the relevance of the Pierre Bourdieu’s foundational theories and explain these patterns. The findings show direct sports participation relying primarily on dispositions towards the body which are stratified by education and income, especially for the most elite sports. These results therefore highlight the contemporary relevance of Bourdieu’s theories of the relationship between sports, social class, and the stratification thereof.
The article presents the results of the anthropological field research of Nyuksenitsa the village (at Vologda Region) soundscape specificity. The main goal of the authors was to identifythe interrelation between the Nyuksenitsa residents’ local identity and complex of meanings(according to M. Lally, “the identity of the place”) which they attribute to certain elements(according to M. R. Shafer, “soundmarks”) of the local soundscape. The article presents both theoretical conceptualization of the studied phenomenon and empirical data analysis. Basedon the results of data analysis 4 categories of soundmarks, which form the sound portrait of Niuksenitsa the village, were identified: sounds of nature, instrumental sounds, people’s voicesand the silence. In order to substantiate the relevance of a turn to multisensory approach in the perception of environment studies the authors deliberately place their methodological reflection inthe final part of the article.
The article discusses the opportunities and limitations of using new data sources and methods of its collection, processing and analysis, namely, digital traces and machine learning in Sociology. At first, we examine the disadvantages of traditional data sources (surveys) and then, based on relevant and recent empirical studies, we discuss how these disadvantages can be overcome using digital traces. The main drawbacks of survey data are the reactivity, a small sample size, and rare frequency of surveys. Based on these drawbacks we identify types of research questions that can only be answered with digital traces. Finally, we also explore the disadvantages of digital traces: lack of representativeness, construct validity, external and internal interfering factors, and non-stationarity. Relying on recent methodological developments the paper explains how to take into consideration these limitations and how to adjust for them wherever possible.
In recent years, the increase in general interest in methods for measuring cognitive load and subjectively perceived mental effort when solving various tasks and in the interpersonal communication was accompanied by an increase in the specific interest of social researchers in the multimodal assessment of the cognitive load of interviewers and respondents based on objective and subjective indicators, including paradata and webcam data, in order to control this load’s impact on the quality of survey data. The authors argue that the possibilities of relatively new approaches to measuring cognitive load with neurophysiological methods (such as the use of wearable devices for oculography — eye tracking and pupillometry — which do not disrupt the natural course of respondents and interviewers activity) are still underestimated, although they allow an accurate time linkage of measured parameters’ dynamics (primarily the size of the pupil) to the question format, mode and phase of survey completion, external influences localized in time, etc. As a rule, quantitative studies of surveys’ cognitive load and its possible impact on the quality of survey data focus on computer-assisted (CAPI) or paper-based (PAPI) interviewing, while the specificity of the cognitive load in the self-completed computerized (CASI) and paper (P&PSI) surveys was not studied. The article presents the results of the methodological experiment based on a modified version of the multimodal approach to the comparative assessment of the cognitive load of interviewers working with paper and computerized questionnaire. We expanded the range of methods for assessing cognitive load by using a wearable oculographic device (eye tracker) to measure the dynamics of pupil size when answering different survey questions. The results of the experiment confirmed the hypothesis about the approximate equivalence of the two modes of survey completion in terms of their cognitive load for younger respondents with a high level of functional computer literacy, and allowed an initial assessment of the technical and metrological capabilities and limitations of the use of pupil dynamics’ indicators, measured with a wearable oculographic device, to study the respondents’ cognitive load.
The reasons for innovations inside and outside the education system have attracted much research interest over the past decades. However, there is still a lack of methodological tools to measure motives of actors coming from inside and outside the system to launch their innovative projects. The article describes approaches to measure the construct “motivation for innovative activity,” as well as the results of adaptation of the scale aimed at measuring motives for creation of innovative educational projects. The tool is based on the scale, constructed in English, “Reasons to create business projects” (PSED). In this research the scale was translated into Russian, adapted for the group of innovators in education and validated within a classical framework of combining exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA and CFA, respectively). Additionally, the subscales were evaluated in terms of internal coherence. The Russian and the English version of the scale were compared, and each subscale was interpreted. Adaptation was performed on the sample of innovators in education, that is, the participants of Competition of Innovations in Education (N = 286). The final scale includes 16 statements and allows to evaluate the intensity of four motivational attitudes towards innovative activity: “Social significance,” “Innovations and creativity,” “Self-realization and achievement,” “Finance and autonomy.” The identified motives reflect certain endeavors and goals of innovators and determine the content and orientation of their educational projects. The instrument can be used for both research and practice purposes to explore motivation of proactive actors in education, as well as similar groups involved in the development of public social spheres. The full version of the scale is presented in the appendix and contains the instructions for respondents and scoring criteria for four subscales
The article poses the problem of the possibility of including sensory ethnography in the methodological arsenal of qualitative sociological research. In order to substantiate the possibility of this step in sociological methodology development the author presents the theoretical origins of the sensory turn that took place in social and humanitarian knowledge. After that, the author reconstructs the process of sensory turn reception in cultural anthropology and sociology. According to the author, the sensory ethnography approach formation may be considered as one of the methodological consequences of sensory turn as well as extension of research problem set opportunities. Shifting the research focus towards the sphere of sensory experience and, as a result, including the sensory aspect of everyday life in research designs, are considered as the incentives to development of new methodo-logical approaches, such as sensory ethnography.
The volume provides an overview of theoretical and practical approaches to career counselling within the systems of secondary school an adult education in Russia and in selected countries where career counselling is most developed. The first chapter explains why career counselling is a timely issue that is gaining momentum in today’s world. The second chapter provides an account of the main theories in the area of career counselling that have served as a basis for developing current career counselling practices. The third chapter provides an overview of practices and approaches to career counselling in Finland, Germany, England, Canada and Hong Kong, whose career counselling systems are widely regarded as exemplary. This chapter also offers a comparative analysis of various components and formats of contemporary career counselling systems abroad. The fourth chapter provides an analysis of key career counselling stakeholders in Russia, as well as most common practices and formats. The final chapter provides a summary of the analysis, outlines key lessons Russia can learn from international experience and discusses prospects for the development of career counselling theories and practices in Russia.
Yoga and meditation have experienced a boom in Western appropriation in recent decades and consistently grow more culturally ubiquitous. Likewise, rates of vegetarianism are quickly rising. However, little scholarly work has been produced around these newer forms upon the cultural landscape. Even less adopts a sociological perspective. This paper seeks to remedy this fact. It aims to advance understandings as to the patterns of consumption regarding newer cultural forms, with yoga, meditation, and vegetarianism as case studies. Proceeding with the UK as the field of study, this paper presents an original national survey. It performs regression analyses with the survey data to accomplish an analysis of interaction with these cultural forms. From the results, this paper asserts that objectified cultural capital is still salient for social distinction of these forms. This paper also suggests criteria by which emerging forms of culture may establish more quickly as high status cultural objects.
Cultural sociology must catch up in taking seriously recent initiatives in the sociology of culture and cognition, represented by the works of Omar Lizardo, John Levi Martin, Stephen Vaisey, and others. However, aiming at progress in cultural analysis, these theories are partly driven by an epistemic logic alien to cultural theorizing, making the very concept of culture redundant. To identify this anti-cultural strain within the ongoing cognitive turn in sociology, I propose an ideal-typical model—‘the informational theory of communication,’ which reduces culture to information. Although many cognitive scientists and sociologists of culture and cognition are aware of the limitations and counter-productivity of this model, and it might not exist in a pure form, I argue that, first, it is still clearly traceable in many of their arguments, and, second, that it can be seen as a cultural logic underlying a substantial part of their arguments. I posit that replacing this logic of explanation with the Durkheimian model of sui generis synthesis, the concept of emergence, and the idea of ‘boundary conditions’ not only allows us to integrate the insights of cognitive science into sociology, but also opens a way for sociology to contribute to the cognitive sciences.
Drawing on the data provided by Russian panel study ‘Trajectories in Education and Careers’ (TrEC), we explore the different rationales pupils employ in deciding their education path in grade nine. Drawing on the relative risk aversion theory we show how young people’s decision-making logics are aimed at class maintenance and risk management. Using a qualitative methodology we show that the decision to continue into grade ten with the view to enter a university program is largely a ‘non-decision’ informed by class-appropriate ambition. While students from higher socio-economic backgrounds ‘automatically’ enrol in grade ten, students of lower socio-economic backgrounds tend to opt for vocational education in the hope of ‘fast-tracking’ to adulthood and the world of work. Drawing on the concept of a ‘cultural narrative’ we also demonstrate that what is considered ‘rational,’ ‘safe’, ‘risky,’ etc. is both class- and culture-specific.
Cultural consumption writ large has had a prominent place in the sociological discipline since Pierre Bourdieu. While Bourdieu often considered sport in analyses of culture, there have since been relatively few studies that are focused on considering sport within the broader landscape of cultural consumption. This paper seeks to assess the place of sports participation within the cultural lifestyles of Canadians. To this end, this paper employs multiple latent class analyses of various cultural and sporting variables from a large-scale Canadian government survey. It also employs regression analyses of those latent class groups. The results show three primary groups of consumers, pointing strongly to confirming the omnivore thesis in Canada. The results of the core of the analysis show, however, strong delineations in which sports these different groups consume. Ultimately then, the cultural domain of sports may be an area where omnivores practise more distinctive consumption, eschewing the sports of other consumer groups.
Despite the prevalence of professional sport in contemporary societies, there is little known by academics about professional sports consumers. We know much more about other cultural domains, such as music and the arts. This study examines consumption and sport in Canada to further understand how patterns of sports consumption fit into broader leisure lifestyles. Through investigation of how five professional sports leagues in Canada are consumed, this paper draws conclusions about the lifestyle of these consumers to assess which prevailing theories of cultural consumption are most useful for this segment. By utilising latent class analysis and regression modelling, this paper finds that cultural omnivores are the most likely consumers of these leagues. This group also maps onto theorisations of omnivores as high-status persons. Additionally, this paper suggests that theories of cosmopolitanism in omnivorous consumption may have particular salience for the Canadian case.
A vast portion of studies of youth is devoted to how adolescents reach (or do not reach) adulthood. Adulthood criteria might be numerous. For example, in life course research a criterion for a transition to adulthood is a baby-boomers’ pattern during the 1950s-60s when half of young men and women managed to finish their education, to find a stable job, to build a family and to have children by the age of 25. Nowadays there is much talk about the de-standardization of adulthood: lots of common criteria for adulthood become less relevant as the number of precarious jobs keeps rising; education is no longer a life stage but more of a constant activity; people often abandon the idea of having a child or building a family.
However, not all the adolescents grow up similarly. Researchers point out both that many adolescents are on a fast-track to adulthood typical of a working class youth and that they have a delayed entry into adulthood typical of middle and upper-middle-class youth trying to spend more time in education. These trends reveal the urgent need to study how young men and women view adulthood and how they try to achieve it. In the paper, the authors explore the adulthood interpretations that young people have, what those interpretations differ by and what they have in common depending on an educational track (intermediate vocational education or university) and their parents’ level of education.
The article investigates how social, territorial and gender inequalities shape educational trajectories of the Russian young people within four years after they graduate from the 9th grade. Empirical basis of the study encompasses the data from the first, the second and the third waves of the Trajectories in Education and Careers (TrEC) Russian Longitudinal Study conducted in 2012, 2013 and 2015.
To reveal various inequalities through the empirical data the study applies investigative and descriptive approach, i.e. the classification tree method rather than logistic regression traditionally used in this field. Five groups of trajectories are singled out: (1) enrollment in a secondary vocational school after the 9th grade, (2) enrollment in a non-selective university after the 10th-11th grades (for the enrolled applicants with an average Unified State Exam score of 70 and lower); (3) enrollment in a selective university after the 10th-11th grades (for the enrolled applicants with an average Unified State Exam score of 70 and higher), (4) termination of education after school graduation. The results show that academic performance is the key factor shaping educational trajectories. When choosing an educational path, parental educational background appears to be important for students in the medium-scoring and low-scoring groups, and place of residence, for students in the high-scoring group. The only group where no attention is paid to gender is a group of low-scoring students whose parents have no higher education background.
The article is dedicated to the analysis of the connection of socio-demographic characteristics, educational achievements and contextual factors with the educational aspirations of Russian ninth graders. In addition, it examines how students’ aspirations and the level of education of their parents are interconnected. Particular attention is given to issues relating to the dynamics of aspirations depending on different trajectories of education after high school graduation. The analysis is based on data of the panel study “Trajectories in Education and Careers” (TREC: http:// trec.hse.ru/) of HSE Institute of Education.
Inequality is amongst the most fundamental and formidable social problems of modernity. It thus does not come as a surprise that it is a major theme that cuts through multiple areas of sociology. However, the major limitation of most social research on inequality is that its focus is often limited to the redistribution of resources, be them material or symbolic. Indeed, some of the most important effects of inequality, ones that make inequality so crucial to studies of modernity, go far beyond unfair access to certain goods. These reveal themselves in elements of social disintegration, lack of social cohesion, multidimensional social exclusion, marginalization of large social groups and gaps between their basic frames of references, which can reach the level of mutual impenetrability. To achieve an integrated perspective, this study follows the lead of quickly developing frontier approaches in the cultural sociology of inequality, and, following its leaders’ appeals, focuses on another dimension of inequality that is complementary to distribution — a social recognition of personal and social group identities. This allows us to assess how economic forces associated with inequality interact with cultural patterns and cognitive processes which persist in the behaviors of both individuals and social groups. Following this line of inquiry, this study focuses on cultural and emotional mechanisms of recognition and how it shapes people’s identity and dignity, and tries to tie these mechanisms to cognitive processes, which shape people’s aspirations and can “ignite” their actions. This study is ultimately intended as a kind of “manifesto” for the sociology of culture and inequality, and thus includes calls for wider intra- and inter-disciplinary input and collaboration in these areas.
This paper introduces the concept of form of life, socially shaped and shared meaning structures of actors situated in material contexts, as a tool for the cultural-sociological analysis of biographies and life trajectories. Following the principles of structural hermeneutics, such an analysis of life-forms treats the interview text as manifestation of a deeper holistic meaning structure, embodied in narratives, binaries and metaphors, without suppressing the contradictions and tensions inherent in every form of life. Finally, the empirical applicability of our approach is illustrated with examples from the qualitative strand of a broader longitudinal panel study as well as an in-depth case study.