The Social Structure of the USSR: Recent Soviet Studies

By Murray Yanowitch | Go to book overview

2. The Socio-occupational Structure of
Contemporary Soviet Society
The Nature and Direction of Change

L. A. GORDON and A. K. NAZIMOVA

As noted in the first part of this paper, our study attempts to use official statistical materials to highlight the basic directions and quantitative characteristics of development of the socio-occupational structure of mature socialist society--to examine, that is, the composition and changing relative importance of major occupational groups, membership in which affects not only the content of labor activity but also working people's entire social profile. Given the nature of available statistical materials, the most important of these groups may be determined by distinguishing occupations, first, according to the complexity and nature of the work performed and, second, according to their association with the technical/technological types of production that are prevalent in our country's economy (the early industrial, assembly-line industrial, and scientific-industrial types).

Soviet social science has produced a relatively sophisticated classification of occupations according to the nature and complexity of work performed. Thus there is no particular difficulty in applying this classification to actual statistical data (see Table 1 in the first part of this paper). It is more complicated to relate the generalized government statistics on occupations to particular technological types of production. Actually, the hard data currently available (not local surveys, but materials reflecting the

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Russian text © 1983 by "Progress" Publishers. Sotsial′no-professional′- naia struktura sovremennogo sovetskogo obshchestva: kharakter i napravlenie peremen, Rabochii klass i sovremennyi mir, 1983, No. 3., pp. 59- 72.

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