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.
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.
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.
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.
This article traces the evolution of the debate on the balancing of federal and regional competences in regulating the use of minority languages in Russia’s education system. Taking into account relevant law and judicial practice, as well as developments in center-periphery relations since 2017, the article argues that the federal center has been increasingly depriving Russia’s republics of the ability to self-regulate in the education sphere – particularly over the question as to whether they may require the compulsory study of republican languages (recognized as co-official with Russian) in schools located within their administrative borders. These processes can be located in the context of the centralization of the education system and a corresponding reduction of multilingualism in Russia’s schools. This can, in turn, be seen as part of an underlying drive to promote national unity through uniformity, through the dilution of the country’s linguistic and cultural diversity and a concurrent emphasis on the primacy of the Russian language. The article further argues that the Russian education system’s centralization has been ongoing: while it has intensified since 2017, the trajectory of the jurisprudence shows an earlier movement towards a concern for ‘unity’ that anticipated it.
Parental involvement (PI) in the education of their children is an important factor which should be taken into account when assessing and predicting children’s school outcomes. However, PI encompasses numerous operationalizations from checking homework, to communication with school, to organizing cultural outings. This study describes a Rasch/Guttman scenario-based scale designed to provide a holistic approach to measuring the PI construct. The Parental Involvement SCenarios scale (PISC-9) was administered to 1,930 parents of primary school children from a sample representative of a Russian region. The scale has very good technical and construct validity characteristics. More specifically, raw scores on the PISC-9 may be represented as locations along a hierarchical continuum from relatively less to increasingly more time consuming and demanding parental behaviors.
This study seeks to explore the incentive factors that serve to instigate university engagement in the third-mission agenda based on evidence drawn from the Russian system of higher education. We pay special attention to how the split of natural and externally induced drivers of the third mission has changed from the Soviet era and up until the immediate modernity. Our analysis has shown that the balance of these two types of incentives never remained flat over the course of history as the Russian university system encountered and had to address different challenges and imperatives at various points in time. We have also found that, while federal initiatives have been adopted by the Russian state that have created a distinctive cohort of universities entrusted with comprehensively contributing to the socio-economic and innovative potential of their host localities as a top-priority task, the third-mission agenda is by no means reduced solely to this very group of institutions, as there are many other universities that are not directly expected to focus on the third mission, but which still favor pursuing proactive and fruitful collaborations with regional stakeholders as arguably representing one of the crucial factors in long-term university sustainability.
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.
Using data from the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Study – Higher School of Economics (RLMS), we estimate the relationship between the sense of control, measured as the belief that one has control over one’s important future life circumstances and job-related training for women and men in a transitional context. We test the theory of alternative resources and the critical approaches in the analysis of the role of gender in individual outcomes from training. We show that while job-related training is associated with higher sense of control (measured using Pearlin Mastery Scale), its effect varies by gender and therefore, its absolute value is limited. We conclude that job-related training exacerbates the existing differences in the sense of control between women and men in Russia, which can potentially have prolonged, negative effects on the wider outcomes of women in the labour market.
Studies have shown that learners’ motivation is a significant predictor of the level of engagement in a MOOC. However, the role of motivation in a MOOC completion remains questionable. In our study, we estimated the role of motivation in a MOOC completion, controlling for the characteristics of participants and their level of engagement with the course materials. The research database includes the survey and trace data on participants of nine MOOCs related to the economic field, launched on Coursera in 2014-2015. Two research models were created: the first model for all MOOCs participants; the second model for university-affiliated participants. The results of the logistic regression showed that learners’ motivation has a significant relationship with a MOOC completion. However, not all motives for participation in MOOCs are significantly related to the chances of earning a certificate of completion. Intrinsic motivation, a motive for getting skills that could be useful for changing the workplace, and a motive for earning a certificate significantly increase the chances of a MOOC completion. In turn, amotivation has a negative relationship with a MOOC completion.
This research studies the short-term effects of the Russian Excellence Initiative Project 5–100 on participating universities. To trace the effect, we develop a quasi-experimental methodology. A control group of universities comparable to the Project 5–100 universities at the starting point of the program’s implementation was singled out using propensity score matching. Data envelopment analysis was conducted, and the Malmquist productivity index was calculated to trace how and why the efficiency of the “participants” and “nonparticipants” of the Project 5–100 has changed. We find statistically significant positive effects of the policy both on the productivity and on the efficiency of the participating universities.
This article is drawn from the authors’ first experience as school ethnographers who gathered data on eleven- and twelve-year old children in a Moscow school. The focus is on data processing in ethnographic writing. The paper addresses the challenges of making field notes in a collective consisting of researchers with different professional and personal backgrounds. Based on the theories of digitally mediated communication and the accounts of qualitative research as assemblage it examines how collaboration emerges through joint electronic creation of ethnographic fieldnotes. The notion of artefact stemming from theories of computer-aided communication comprises the nature of field notes as complex objects, documenting both the field and the process of collaborative writing. Examples of artefacts and respective reporting strategies are provided. The authors conclude with a discussion of sequences of their approach for further development of the practices of digitally mediated collaborative writing in ethnography.
This article is drawn from the authors’ first experience as school ethnographers who gathered data on eleven- and twelve-year old children in a Moscow school. The focus is on data processing in ethnographic writing. The paper addresses the challenges of making field notes in a collective consisting of researchers with different professional and personal backgrounds. Based on the theories of digitally mediated communication and the accounts of qualitative research as assemblage it examines how collaboration emerges through joint electronic creation of ethnographic field notes. The notion of artefact stemming from theories of computer-aided communication comprises the nature of field notes as complex objects, documenting both the field and the process of collaborative writing. Examples of artefacts and respective reporting strategies are provided. The authors conclude with a discussion of sequences of their approach for further development of the practices of digitally mediated collaborative writing in ethnography.
Review of the book "Universities and Global Human Development" (by A.Boni and M.Walker)