SOCIOLOGY: PROFESSION AND VOCATION
Interview with Professor Simon Clarke
Professor Simon Clarke answers questions of JSSA editor Vladimir Kozlovsky concerning his scientific career and issues of sociology in a modern world.
Clarke S. A Very Soviet Form of Capitalism? The Management of Holding Companies in Russia
Basing on 31 case-studies, this paper analyses the process of restructuring of the industrial enterprises which have been taken over by large Russian holding companies. It fruitfully uses the conceptual framework proposed by Marx for the analysis of the development of capitalist methods of production. The character of restructuring depends on the type of holding company: vertically integrated, horizontally integrated and diversified. However, in all cases the question remains open of whether we are seeing the formation of a distinctively Russian form of capitalism, based on traditionally soviet production organization and values, or whether Russia is still in a transitional stage towards a more familiar form of capitalism. The problem faced by the holding company in this respect is how to transform its subsidiaries into fully capitalist companies without undermining production, which still depends on traditional values and relationships.
Maximov B. Workers´ Social Rights in 1990s
This article treats the workers´ condition in 1990s – 2000s in the light of the realization of their social rights. Basing on statistical data and results of his own research the author monitors the exercise of workers´ rights to work, to salary they deserve, to normal labour time, to promotion, to management participation, etc. For the most part and in spite of their perfect representation in legislative acts the workers´ rights are exercised insufficiently or are directly violated mostly because of the low legal culture of citizens.
THEORETICAL PROBLEMS OF SOCIOLOGY
Karmadonov O. The Role and Place of Symbol in Sociology of Talcott Parsons
The article is devoted to the analysis of one of the most elaborated and promising sociological treatments of symbol, given by Talcott Parsons. This American sociologist devoted the main attention to the ontology of a symbol, creating a hierarchy of symbolic system comprised of cognitive, expressive, and evaluative symbols, which are connected with the appropriate motivations of action. The most important to us seems the fact that Parsons was the first one who made a quite convincing attempt to reconcile symbol with both the structure and action. This attempt resolves, in fact, the traditional contradiction between the macro, and the microsociological paradigms. It is worth to note that in his late works this sociologist, considering the latest discoveries in a science, found the main corroboration for his theory of action just as connected with its symbolic, meaningful component.
Zuzev N. Pitirim Sopokin and Moral Aspects of Globalisation
Modern social science lacks fruitful methodological approaches dealing with social problems. For example all the concepts in interpreting the globalization phenomenon can be reduced to some version of an old "revolutionary" idea. Meantime some valuable ideas are neglected. Among them sociological and philosophical system by the prominent Russian and American sociologist Pitirim A. Sorokin. He had created an original theory of social change. Sorokin regarded modernity as transition from a sensate to ideational supersystem, and as a process effecting all the continents and countries. So globalization´s general characteristics aren´t politico-economical ones as they are seen by most of the scientists. They are rooted rather in the sphere of values. Accordingly the important role of moral and ethical factors must be strongly emphasized in international affaires. The "war against terrorism" can´t be won without win over Evil wherever the war is fought, in Chechnya or Iraq. The battle line on a map must be the same as the battle line between Good and Evil.
SOCIOLOGY OF ORGANIZATIONS
Barsukova S., Karacharovsky V. The Informal Structures in Organizations as a Management Resource
This is an overview of the main theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of informal structures in organizations. Two levels of analysis are distinguished: societal and corporate. The sociological theories of organizations –– mechanistic, phenomenological, conflict, neo-marxist and system-oriented –– treat the informal factor differently. It depends on different interpretation of the nature of informal structures and on the conception of the degree to which they could be submitted to management.
SOCIOLOGY OF PROFESSIONS
Sosnovskaya A. The Professional Identity of Journalists (case study)
This paper presents a dissertation research, which analyses professional subculture of journalists (from 1949 to 1999) and is based on interviews with the journalists of St. Petersburg. The formal norms of functioning of the institute of mass media are defined as well as informal norms and practices. The author follows process of society´s transformation at the level of transformation of practices. Informal journalist practices of the Soviet time acquired key positions during reorganisation period and then in the post-reorganisation period new practices were formed, opposite to ex-opposite practices. When marginal practice becomes central such type of change is called reconfiguration. Practices support professional identity, whibeing in dialectic interrelation with it. The professional identity, which is the focus of present paper, is examined in view of the concepts of identity of A. Giddens, V. Yadov, and also from the perspective of social psychology.
Magidovich M. The Professional Identity of Artists
Under modern conditions the identity of the artist as a social agent whose professional activity may considerably influence the formation of the national identity is of particular importance. The problem of artist´s identification becomes more difficult for the lack of valid criteria. In contrast to other professional groups the professional identity of the artist includes ethnic and national-cultural dimension. The role of education in the formation of professional identity is considered. The relation between social and professional identity is analyzed. The influence of institutional changes in the world of art caused by the process of market transition is pointed out.
Geertz C. The Bazaar Economy: Information and Search in Peasant Marketing
The given paper is an example of social analysis of economic behavior in the classical oriental market called "bazaar". This is one of the traditional research fields of economic anthropology. The paper is based on empirical materials gathered during the field research of bazaar in Marocco. The author has called this type of economy "the bazaar economy". Actions of economic agents in such an economy have their distinctive characteristics and differ considerably from purely competitive markets of neoclassical economics. In this connection the author pays special attention to two dimensions that give the bazaar its particular colour: clientelization and bargaining. The former provides with long-term social relationships, that differs in a huge way from spot market contracting of the pure market; the latter can be expressed in the fact that the spirit of bargaining becomes more important than price setting as such.
Khoperskaya L., Kharchenko V. The Management of Local Interethnic Conflicts
This article tries to consider systematically the types and reasons of local interethnic conflicts and technologies of their resolution in actual practice of the regions belonging to Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation. The definition of a local interethnic conflict is proposed and the experience of management technologies in respect of local interethnic conflicts is generalized. The original evaluation technique (including its graphic illustration) of the dynamics of local interethnic conflicts is suggested. This technique is based on empirical tendency that level of social tension, as determined by a standard sociological survey, corresponds to the qualitative characteristics of public opinion and forms of political activity among the population of a multiethnic region.
Goryacheva N. The Specific Features of Drinking Behaviour in Russia and Finland
The relationships between characteristics of drinking behaviour, gender, age and experiences related to drinking were studied in St. Petersburg. Interviews were conducted in 1999 with a representative sample of Petersburg´s population between 15 and 69 years old (N=1980). It was one of the few attempts to create logistic regression models using recent Russian data. Intake of alcohol and frequency of drunkenness were the most important predictors of both negative and positive experiences related to drinking. Characteristics of drinking situation contributed significantly to the explanatory models, but their predictive power was small.
The Russian explanatory models were compared with the Finnish ones based on interviews of 1992. The specific Petersburg features were higher degree of alcohol negative and positive experiences related to drinking, different association with the same characteristics of drinking occasions in studied countries.
NEWS / INFORMATION
The Scientific Seminar "The Transformation of Russian Power Structures and Corruption"
This seminar was held at St.-Petersburg Institut of Law on 26.03.04.
The International Conference "Authority and a Public Opinion" The conference "Authority and a Public Opinion" was organised by The Foundation for Opinion Research on 25–25.06.04.
NEW BOOKS ON SOCIAL SCIENCES AND HUMANITIES
Kraleva L Korovitsyna N. With or without Russia. Easteuropean Way of Development. M.: Algoritm, 2003.
Isupov K. Sultanov K. The Social Philosophy of N. Danilevsky: Conflict of Interpretations. St. Petersburg: Izdatelstvo SPbGU, 2001.