Social structure and social stratification of society: empirical indicators

Social structure and social stratification of society:
empirical indicators

Maltseva A.V.

Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia

Shilkina N.E.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Assoc. Prof. of the same Department, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Mahnitkina O.V.

Altai State University, Barnaul, Russia

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For citation:

Maltseva A.V., Shilkina N.E., Mahnitkina O.V. Social structure and social stratification of society: empirical indicators. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 10. P. 33-42


Empirical indicators of social and social stratification of soviet and modern society of Russia are present in sociological research tools of different times. Actual social agenda through the reflection of sociologists’ scientific thought and fixation in research questionnaire allows to see development of Russian sociology along with the changes in its conceptual system. This article covers results of analysis of research questionnaires presented in the Joint Economic and Social Data Archive for the period 1980s to 2014. Review of empirical indicators (“education”, “social status”, “quality of life” and others) permit us to observe several objective and subjective “codes” that help to identify/decode bases of social structure and social stratification of society undegoing transformation with the course of time. 1980s actualize such sort of objective “code” as education – the very fact of its obtaining allowed any person to enter a social group and determined his/her way of life. Association of education, profession and status was transformed in 1990s; new “code” of social structure identifying/decoding emerged – money. This “code” is partially hidden behind category of “social status”, prestige of public activity, special knowledge or competences but is mostly equal to quality of life in fact. Along with the objective “codes”, subjective ones are also actual for modern society and its reality describing such “code” as self-identification consisting of self-evaluation, evaluation of individual capacities to get desired position in social structure etc. “Codes” at different periods reflect stability or potential conflict of social-structural relations and interaction (and society in general) and are in the focus of empirical investigations now. One more very important – for social structure analysis – “code” is extent/volume of power and authority potential of different population groups that can also define and reflect quality of life. Registering of this “code” reflects social structure more completely and adequately. During last years bureaucratic structures and administrative staff machinery grew up and widened their authority. Process of this kind is typical for a number of countries. Changes in social structure that bring this process along with bureaucracy authorities affect most of social life spheres and conflict with interests of other social groups. Researchers’ interest for this indicator of social structure could help to outline new “code” of social processes understanding – social influence as a factor that forms quality of life of different social groups along with the direction of social development in general.

empirical indicators of unequality; archive of sociological and economical data; sociological tools; “codes” of social structure and social stratification
Content No 10, 2016