Academic journal article Civilacademy Journal of Social Sciences

An Analysis of Social Classes in Russia after 1991 Based on Classical and Modern Social Stratification theories/Klasik Ve Modern Sosyal Tabakalasma Teorileri Temelinde 1991 Sonrasi Rusya Sosyal Siniflarinin Bir Analizi

Academic journal article Civilacademy Journal of Social Sciences

An Analysis of Social Classes in Russia after 1991 Based on Classical and Modern Social Stratification theories/Klasik Ve Modern Sosyal Tabakalasma Teorileri Temelinde 1991 Sonrasi Rusya Sosyal Siniflarinin Bir Analizi

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

One of the objectives of this article is to analyze the manifold nature of social stratification theory developed by classical (Marx, Weber) and modern (Bourdieu) social theoreticians in order to conduct a more multi-faceted and better systematized analysis of the major structural transformations in Russian society after 1991--the year of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Within the chosen cultural context, the theories of Western and non-Western (Dovedov) origin are synthesized; major concepts and constructs are recombined. The article presents a three-pillar diagram where social stratification factors (economic, cultural, and political) in the context of contemporary Russian society social are visualized.

OZET

Bu makalenin amaclarindan birisi; Sovyetler Birligi'nin cozulme yili olan 1991 'den sonra Rus toplumundaki temel yapisal donusumlerin iyi sistematize edilmis ve cok yonlu bir analizini yapabilmek icin klasik (Marx, Weber) ve modern (Bourdieu) teorisyenler tarafindan gelistirilen sosyal tabakalasma teorilerinin dogasini incelemektir. Secilen kulturel baglam icinde, Batili ve Batili-olmayan (Dovedov) teoriler sentezlenmis, temel kavram ve yapilar yeniden biraraya getirilmistir. Makale, cagdas Rus toplumundaki sosyal tabakalasma faktorlerini (ekonomik, kulturel, siyasi) gorsellestiren diyagrami sunarak sona ermektedir.

Introduction

Social stratification has always been one of the central subjects in sociological theory. Out of the vast variety of theories on social stratification there could be three general approaches to the conceptualization of social classes identified in literature: social class as a social group defined primarily by the nature of its relationship to the economic means of production (the Marxist perspective); social class as a socio-economic group defined by status, education and occupational prestige (the Weberian approach); social class as a social group defined in social space by its utilization of various forms of capitals, i.e. economic, cultural and social capital (a perspective developed by Pierre Bourdieu).

      To Karl Marx, writing in the 1860s
   and 1870s, social class is determined by
   the ownership of the "economic means of
   production". Those who own the means
   of production, "capitalists", look after
   their own interests to get a profit through
   the exploitation of workers, "proletariat",
   who have to sell their labour. The more
   wealth the workers produce, the more
   their production increases in value and
   extent. A worker is turned into a "commodity".
   The object produced by labour,
   its product, now stands opposed to the
   worker as an "alien" entity.

      To Max Weber, writing in the early
   1900s, Marx's views were too simplistic.
   He agreed that different social
   classes exist. However, this sociologist
   came up with other factors that define
   social stratification, i.e. "status" and
   "social prestige", etc. According to Weber,
   the place of residence, the manner
   of speech, education, leisure habits and
   many other items that comprise a "lifestyle"
   play a crucial role in social stratification.

      Related to alternative factors of social
   stratification rather than the concepts
   developed by classical social theory,
   Bourdieu's approach to conceptualizing
   social classes has caught the imagination
   of many social scientists and has had a
   colossal impact on the further development
   of modern sociology. Such concepts
   developed by Bourdieu as "social
   space", "symbolic capital", "cultural
   capital", and "habitus" have been considered
   by many sociologists as most
   related to the analyses of social stratification
   in modern societies.

      While the body of work attributable
   to the first two approaches based on the
   theories developed by Marx and Weber
   is immense, very few scholars have applied
   Bourdieu's relational perspective
   on classes in the Russian context. … 
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