Monetary and non-monetary inequalities in Russians’ lives
Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Head of Centre for Stratification Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics; Leading Researcher, Institute of Sociology FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia firstname.lastname@example.org
Basing on the m aterials o f 4 w aves of nationwide representative sociological monitoring by the Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences in 2014–2016, monetary and non-monetary inequalities characteristic for Russian society today are analyzed. It is shown that under the influence of economic crisis income inequality has slightly decreased but still remains high. Non-monetary inequalities are tightly related to monetary ones; they are seen not only in the high level of differentiation of Russians’ everyday life, but also in life chances typical for different social groups of Russians. Representatives of low-income groups of the population have a low quality of life not only in areas directly related to income (food, clothing, housing, provision of durable goods), but also in their work situation, opportunities for education, private security etc. Moreover, they have little or no opportunity to improve their lives and achieve desirable life models even in the aspects associated not with the quality of life, but with the creation of comfortable social environment on the micro level. This situation is not a result of the economic crisis – socio-economic situation in the country even before its start was characterized by high monetary and nonmonetary inequalities, although the crisis has brought some adjustments to the overall picture. Changes affect entire population. But for social groups with higher incomes they affect not just financial conditions, but quality of their life standards. Consequences of these trends are inconsistent. On the one hand, they contribute to reduction of social inequalities that are quite acutely perceived today by the population. On the other – such dynamics indicate that the most well-off mass social groups of society are deprived of opportunities to maintain the standard and way of life they have developed over a period of relatively stable economic development. This will inevitably begin to generate social tension in these social groups.