The New Elite in Post-Communist Eastern Europe

By Vladimir Shlapentokh; Christopher Vanderpool et al. | Go to book overview

18
The New Agricultural Elite in Post-Communist Russia The Saratov District

Vladimir Palagin

The development of democratic tendencies in Russian society was a necessary precondition for societal change and has influenced the structure of the elite. The development of the elite class derives from specific features of social structure including stratification and the divisions that exist between particular groups. Society, in turn, gains its diverse and complex social organization partly from a well-developed elite structure in the political, economic, scientific, social, and other societal sectors. Finally, the elite are an important mechanism for articulating societal interests. The ability of different societal groups to express and promote their interests partly depends upon the ability and willingness of their elites to organize themselves into groups such as professional societies in science, culture, and different subsectors in manufacturing.


General Characteristics of the Russian Agricultural Elite

As a group, the elite are concerned with maintaining control over decision making in regards to 1) the distribution of important values in society; 2) industrial production and economic results; and 3) the definition of parameters circumscribing their activities.

Since these individuals tend to be among society's intelligentsia and have strong feelings of responsibility toward society, they are endowed (by society) with certain privileges. Thus, the elite represent an elected and distinguished minority possessing relatively greater privileges than the common person.

This essay presents a case study of agricultural development in the

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