Judul: resume of social stratification
Penulis: Sasha Shljahova
The title of academic proposal is "Social stratification and social mobility in Modern Russia Society 1994-2006".
In this project the Author reviews some of the classical and contemporary approaches to understanding the social stratification by example of Russian society over the period 1994-2006. He describes the subject as relevant and always debatable because of social inequality which takes place in different spheres of life: access to power, to wealth, the level of education or qualification. The Author confirms this statement with a brief survey of 2 basic approaches.
The first approach was elaborated by Karl Mars. He formulated the theory of class structure on the basis of unequal access to the means of production (wealth). Subsequently Max Weber expanded this theory and added two more key-factors – power and prestige.
The contemporary approach of functionalism is presented by works of T. Parsons, K. Davis and W. Moor. They declared that every position in society is stipulated by functional importance and special requirements to be conformed to. The theory of functionalism is based on personal utility.
One of the Author's goals is to social structure and directions of social mobility in the light of the 1990s socioeconomic reforms in Russia. To achieve this goal the Author will use optimal combined approach and the latest empirical data.
The main body
In the part of literature review the Author retraces history of social stratification issue in science.
At first time it was raised by ancient scientists – Plato and Aristotle, at Renaissance the main surveys were made by humanists particularly by Hobbes and Russo.
In the 19 century Karl Marks made a scientific breakthrough by determining a relation between type of economy (mode of production) and interaction of main social classes involved in production (he determined 2 classes - bourgeoisie and proletariat). Marks categorized a class conflict as inherent and leading to revolution at last.
Eric Olin Wright developed a conception of three primary classes within the capitalism system of organization: the capitalist class (managers and supervisors), the working class (small employers) and the petty bourgeoisie (semi-autonomous employees).
Max Weber was a successor of Karl Marks concerning the economic basis of class social inequality but he determined a new set of key-factors. There are three dimensions: wealth (economic class) is the value of personal economic asserts; power (political power group or "party") is the ability to influence others; prestige (status group) is respect or regard to status position by other members of society. Thereby Weber illustrated the markets' effects at social structure.
Neo-Weberian approach was presented by works of Frank Parkin. The novelty of his researches was the theory of social closure aimed to secure the unequal access to status and resources. It was organized in two ways: usurpation (an effort of excluded groups to gain advantages and power) and exclusion (an effort of privileged groups to maintain their advantage position).
The essence of functionalist approach which was advanced by T. Parsons and advocated by K. Davis and W. Moore could be expressed in statement that individuals occupy various socio-professional positions. Therefore everyone's position is determined by functional importance of particular rank and the requirements of special training or talent. This scheme explains social stratification as logical and functional.
The Author underlines than in the project he will pay attention to achievements of other scientists: J. Goldthrope, D. Glass, R. Ericson, P. Blue and O. Dunkan.
In the methodology part the Author gives special emphasis to the analysis of the data.
Firstly, he describes the empirical data as appropriate due to the following points: it contains a number of individuals' characteristics which are necessary for identifying the classes; it demonstrates the dynamics over the years; it covers all Russian regions.
Secondly, the Author explains the specific aims which he intended to achieve with the help of a mainstream statistical package – SPSS. He plans to use all the necessary procedures such as - creating conditions, the method of cluster analyses and the method of transfer matrix. He intends to create a set of predetermined conditions – the time period (1994-2006) and age category (16-60 years). He will divide general population into clusters with the same characteristics e.g. level of education, income; to evaluate social mobility. At last he will present the diagram of changes in social structure which covers both upward and downward kinds of mobility.
In conclusion the Author summarizes researches which have been discussed and underlines the importance to explore some contemporary approaches in order not to neglect the recent developments in this field of sociology. Moreover, the Author stresses the necessity to focus on empirical works - to decrease the discrepancy between theory and reality.
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