We comment on the article by Zagaria et al., which explicates the ““soft” nature of psychology: a minor consensus in its “core”” (Zagaria et al., p. 1), manifested by the discordant character of definitions of psychological “core-constructs”. Zagaria et al. build on the assumption that psychological science should reside in the status of a paradigm, meanwhile the real state of things they consider as pre-paradigmatic, imperfect and unhealthy, from which a transition to a paradigm is necessary.We cannot agree with this provision. We argue that not internal coherence and consistency, but the ability to reflect multifaceted reality, to answer its innovative manifestations in various dimensions and solve tasks that life poses to humanity with an adequate set of different tools not reducible to a single approach, is what makes the value of science. Psychology originally developed as poly paradigmatic science, because its subject has a most complex nature, holistic, yet incorporating many aspects different in their essence and, therefore, requiring different versions of the methodology. Considering epistemology of psychological science from the philosophical perspective implying special focus on the ontological issues, we argue that poly paradigmatic structure of psychology is a virtue, not weakness. Thanks to such a structure, modular, like a Swiss knife, our science may offer the most effective solutions for a variety of problems. Multiplicity of relative approaches is best fit for life and innovation, even though we have to sacrifice rigor and concordance of definitions in introductory textbooks.
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.
Researchers see self-regulated learning (SRL) as a fundamental skill for succeeding in massive open online courses (MOOCs). However, there is no sufficient evidence of adequate functioning of SRL dimensions such as environment structuring, goal setting, time management, help-seeking, task strategies, and self-evaluation in the MOOC environment. This study fills the gap in understanding the structure of SRL skills utilising the Online Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire (OSLQ). The construct-related validity of the OSLQ is evaluated based on self-reported survey responses of 913 Russian MOOC learners with confirmatory factor analysis and criterion-related validity is checked with independent samples t-tests comparison. The results show that the original six-factor hierarchical model does not fit the data adequately. The evidence implies that the dimension ‘help-seeking’ is not effective in the MOOC environment. Therefore, a redefined five-factor hierarchical model of the OSLQ is suggested.
Fertility, mortality and migration are constantly changing the population dynamics in Russia. Various historical events (economic crises, the collapse of the USSR, etc.) had a huge impact on the age and sex pyramid of the population. The consequences of the demographic crisis also influenced the number of potential university enrollments. An analysis of demographic trends in the Russian higher education (HE) system made it possible to identify several patterns.
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.
The article presents the data of interregional research aimed at identifying the features of the Russian magistracy and the perception of graduates by employers. The results of a survey of employers, bachelor students and magistracy students indicate some differences in the perception of students of their level of education and their self-identification in the labor market.
This study examines territorial differences in Russian students' choice of educational trajectory after secondary school between 2000 – 2014, between regions in various socio-economic and cultural contexts. The Russian case might be interesting for the social and economic gap between Russian provinces, which is comparable to other countries differences: some regions, equal to Singapore or the Netherlands in GDP per capita, while others are similar to Honduras or Bolivia. These differences in economic development, among other things, are also associated with the gap in human capital, which is traditionally measured through the level of education of the population. In the Russian system of education, the actual choice of educational trajectory takes place at the end of secondary school, when children should choose between the academic track, which presumes admission to the high school and university after that, and the vocational track, which includes admission to vocational college. Since 2000th, the proportion of secondary school graduates, who chose the academic trajectory, has declined in most of the Russian regions, despite growing access to higher education, thanks to the raise in the number of universities between 2000-2008 with simultaneous demographic decline. With the dynamic time warping algorithm and time series cluster analysis, six different types of regional situations were identified, in the dynamics of the percentage of students who chose the academic track after secondary school. In general, in the most economically advantaged regions with a developed infrastructure of higher education, the popularity of the academic trajectory remains at the same high level. But also there were some decreases in 2009 and 2013, which could be a consequence of the world economic crises in those years. These crises became additional factors at the regional level, for the families in the more developed territories, to re-evaluate their children's chances for higher education and the associated costs. At the same time, the proportion of students on the academic track in more economically disadvantaged regions, with lower access to higher education, has gradually decreased since 2000. These students faced a “double penalty” because they had to plan their education strategy, taking into account higher competition for places in universities, or moving to other regions to enter educational institutions there, which was also associated with growing costs. In this situation, the vocational track becomes a more affordable alternative for students from regions with a lower level of economic and social development. As the result of the analysis, it is possible to determine short and long term prerequisites for further growth in the human capital gap between Russian regions and, consequently, the growing differences in economic development.
The pocket data book contains main indicators characterizing trends in the development of general, secondary vocational, higher education as well as vocational training and additional education in the Russian Federation. It also covers key education indicators for the OECD countries. The data book includes information of the Federal State Statistics Service, the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Federal Treasury, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), as well as results of own methodological and analytical studies of the HSE Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge.
This paper analyses the link between the efficiency of regional higher education systems and the rates of regional economic development between 2012 and 2015 in Russia. The efficiency scores are calculated at the institutional level using Two-stage Semi-parametric data envelopment analysis. Then, the scores are aggregated at the regional level. We formulate an economic growth model that considers the efficiency of regional higher education systems as one of the explanatory variables. As an econometric method, we employ a robust GMM estimator. The findings highlight a positive, and statistically significant effect of higher education institutions efficiency on the regional economic growth. We also found negative spillover effects.
This open access book offers a comparative study of eight ambitious national reforms that sought to create opportunities for students to gain the necessary breath of skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world. It examines how national governments transform education systems to provide students opportunities to develop such skills. It analyses comprehensive education reforms in Brazil, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Portugal and Russia and yields original and important insights on the process of educational change. The analysis of these 21st century skills reforms shows that reformers followed approaches which are based on the five perspectives: cultural, psychological, professional, institutional and political. Most reforms relied on institutional and political perspectives. They highlight the systemic nature of the process of educational change, and the need for alignment and coherence among the various elements of the system in order. They underscore the importance of addressing the interests of various stakeholders of the education system in obtaining the necessary impetus to initiate and sustain change. In contrast, as the book shows, the use of a cultural and psychological frame proved rarer, missing important opportunities to draw on systematic analysis of emerging demands for schools and on cognitive science to inform the changes in the organization of instruction. Drawing on a rich array of sources and evidence the book provides a careful account of how education reform works in practice.
The purpose of this paper is to explain relations between socioeconomic factors and gender longevity gap and to test a number of contradicting theories.
Fixed effects models are used for cross-country panel data analysis.
The authors show that in developed countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Union) a lower gender longevity gap is associated with a higher real GDP per capita, a higher level of urbanization, lower income inequality, lower per capita alcohol consumption and a better ecological environment. An increase in women’s aggregate unemployment rate and a decline in men’s unemployment are associated with a higher gap in life expectancies. There is also some evidence that the effect of the share of women in parliaments has a U-shape; it has a better descriptive efficiency if taken with a four-year lag, which approximately corresponds to the length of political cycles.
Findings are valid only for developed countries.
The findings are important for policy discussions, such as designs of pension schemes, gender-based taxation, ecological, urban, health and labor policy.
The factors that increase male and female longevities also reduce the gender longevity gap.
The results contradict to a number of studies for developing countries, which show that lower economic development and greater women discrimination result in a lower gender longevity gap.
This paper analyzes the role of education in economic growth with special focus on countries with high participation in tertiary education. The practical challenge that this conceptual paper is trying to address is that global economic growth is decreasing in the last decades – especially in developed countries.
Concept mapping is a popular tool for knowledge structure assessment. In recent years, both the amount of research about concept maps and their measurement ability have grown. It has been shown that concept maps with different types of tasks, for instance, links between concepts given or selected by a respondent, provide information about the different aspects of students’ knowledge structure. This study explores features of concept mapping with and without a list of concepts. At first, eleven masters students constructed concept maps with a topic on statistical data analysis and, after three weeks, repeated the task with the same topic and a predefined list of concepts. Both types of concept maps were evaluated using traditional scoring indicators and indicators from the network analysis. All indicators were tested for significant differences, and then the content of these maps was analysed. Results show that the list of concepts forced respondents to construct more connective maps, which is related to a more developed knowledge structure. Moreover, it is easier for them, when including even abstract concepts, to define their role in the domain. However, respondents use concepts and group them in different ways depending on the instruction. It seems that respondents feel a “list stress”, which leads to differences in the content. These findings demonstrate the possibilities of using different concept mapping tasks for learning and assessment.
Maksim Maksimovich Kovalevsky was one of the most respected and influential figures in sociology and the humanitarian and social sciences in Russia in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Kovalevsky was president of the International Institute of Sociology in 1905. He developed a comparative historical approach to the study of social institutions' evolution, critically elaborating on the ideas of Auguste Comte, Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, Émile Durkheim, and others. Kovalevsky examined the interdependence between various factors in concrete historical contexts – with many parallel influences and with possible contradictions. For instance, he considered the demographic factor in connection with economic growth. He also analyzed links between economics, political institutions, and political doctrines coevolving in society.
The demand for large-scale assessments in higher education, especially at an international scale, is growing. A major challenge of conducting these assessments, however, is that they require understanding and balancing the interests of multiple stakeholders (government officials, university administrators, and students) and also overcoming potential unwillingness of these stakeholders to participate. In this paper, we take the experience of the Study of Undergraduate Performance (SUPER) in conducting a large-scale international assessment as a case study. We discuss ways in which we mitigated perceived risks, built trust, and provided incentives to ensure the successful engagement of stakeholders during the study’s implementation.