Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Societal Determination of Professional Identity in Russian Society

Academic journal article Global Media Journal

Societal Determination of Professional Identity in Russian Society

Article excerpt


The precarization of labor relations in the world negatively affected modern conditions of Russian society development. Precarizated work associated with uncertainty and insecurity in socio-economic relations, unhealthy competition, flexibility of labor relations, different social classes of workers etc. deforms professional identity and decreases its potential integration. The purpose of this article is to study the integrative and disintegrative nature of professional identity under institutional changes in Russian society.

In the social sciences, professional identity is most often considered at the level of professional identification, social and group interaction in professional circle. At the same time, professional identity has a macro-social determination, which is especially important in the context of deforming social and labor relations in the modern world. In stable economic (balanced labor market, fixed labor rights, long-term guarantee) and social (strong system of values and social relations) conditions, professional identity performs integrative functions with respect to the entire social system, developing current social structure and patterns of socio-labor relationship. In turn, the dynamic changes of social class within professional groups, in the principles of work organization directly affect the living circumstances of workers, their identity and social behavior patterns. This entails societal transformation, which can destabilize the social system under certain conditions.

Therefore, the relevance of the topic is determined by deformation trends of social and labor relations in the world and their edgy occurrence in modern Russian society. Russia has recently experienced a break-up of social structure and social stratification systems that form the basis of societal reproduction. These macro-social changes are accompanied by a destruction of previously established principles of social and labor relations, reasons for profession's stature and mechanisms of professional identity formation. According to Zaslavskaya, member of the Academy of Sciences, there occurred a degradation of the institutional system in post-Soviet Russia, as well as the imbalance of social structure [1], which led to a long-term disintegration effect in society that has not been overcome to date. Series of economic crises of 2008-2009 and 2014-2015 in Russia even more deepened the social contradictions in society. Therefore, it is urgent to preserve the societal integrity and stability of society, strengthen solidarity backgrounds and relations. The article provides an attempt to study the societal functions of professional identity under crisis of social and labor relations in Russian society.

Conceptual Outline

Professional identity in the context of socio-historical development of society

The nature of professional identity, including personal visions of objectives and motives of professional activity and self-knowledge, depends on social, historical and sociocultural context. The phenomenon of social identity with a particular community or group of people, in fact, occurs in destruction of life hoods, where the need for self-determination in the system of social relationships is not revealed and where there is a natural division of labor. Formation of industrial societies radically transforms the living circumstances and identifies the need for correlation of the individual with a new multi-class and dynamic social structure and with new organizational forms of labor relations.

In this regard, some researchers distinguish the concepts of professional identity and labor identity, while the latter is determined by personal relatedness to a particular historical form of labor. This idea can be developed and we could argue that labor identity is correlated with the class structure in industrial society. The classes, unlike the social "stratums", display the unequal access to power resources and economic power (capital). …

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