FSD3288 Social Distinctions in Modern Russia 2015

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Authors

  • Nikula, Jouko (University of Helsinki. Aleksanteri Institute)

Keywords

educational background, family environment, family life, interpersonal relations, labour and employment, occupational life, political action, political attitudes, socio-economic status, standard of living, workers participation

Abstract

This study is part of a survey series that charts various issues characterising social differentiation in contemporary Russian society. The surveys in the series have been conducted in 1990, 1998, 2006 and 2015, facilitating research on temporal change. Social differentiation in this study was mainly considered in terms of occupation, social mobility, property and income, but attitudes, politics and religion were also examined. The study aimed to survey the respondents' conditions in life together with their values in order to examine the interaction between the two.

Many questions in the survey concerned the respondents' working life and employment history. The respondents' education history was also surveyed. Questions focused on, for example, how the respondents had gotten their current job, what kind of responsibilities, obligations and independence the respondents had in their work, and whether the respondents were in a decision-making position at work. The respondents were asked whether they had been unemployed since 2008 and if yes, how they had managed economically at the time (e.g. whether they received benefits from the employer or state or support from family or friends). Additionally, the respondents were asked if they were self-employed at present and whether they had a second job. The influence of trade unions in the respondents' workplace was also charted.

The survey also included questions on the respondents' family, leisure time, access to medical care, Internet use, political and social activity, and language competence. The most important sources of income for the respondents' family as well as the benefits they received from the state or from employers were examined. Access to medical care was charted with questions on where the respondents and their family received medical care (e.g. local hospitals or private clinics) and whether various factors restricted their access to medical care (e.g. doctor services being too expensive or clinics being too far away). The respondents were also asked about their Internet use, for example, where they usually connected to the Internet and how often they used it for various purposes.

The respondents' political activity was charted with questions on, for example, whether they had signed a petition or taken part in a strike in 2013 or 2014. Questions on social participation focused on whether the respondents took part in the activities of, for example, religious, ecological or youth organisations. The respondents' trust in various institutions (e.g. the President, Government, Russian army, and Russian orthodox church) and satisfaction with the work of several organisations and individuals were examined. Opinions on the significance of different conditions in providing advancement in society were surveyed. The respondents were asked to evaluate the importance of, for example, coming from a rich family, good education, hard work, contacts abroad, and luck. Finally, the respondents' views on the main reasons for poverty (e.g. being unlucky or lacking talent) and threats to Russia (e.g. differences between the rich and poor or between men and women) were surveyed.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's employment history, status in employment, working hours, education, marital status, number of children, household size, income, owned household durable goods, religious affiliation, nationality, gender, age, and type of municipality of residence.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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