Are International Stratification Scales Misrepresenting Russian Social Structure?

Are International Stratification Scales Misrepresenting Russian Social Structure?

Sokolov M.M.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Prof. at European University at Saint Petersburg, St. Petersburg, Russia

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Sokolov M.M. Are International Stratification Scales Misrepresenting Russian Social Structure?. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 8. P. 14-26


This article attempts to evaluate the applicability of international stratification scales having the widest currency (EGP, ISEI, CAMSIS, Treiman, E.O. Wright’s schema) to the Russian case. More specifically, I evaluate (1) the performance of scales in predicting income, educational attainment, lifestyle and consumption patterns; (2) the presence of interaction closure and intergenerational reproduction of membership in the groups identified by the scales. Empirically, the paper relies on the results of a representative survey of population of Saint Petersburg (N = 3200; June, 2019). General conclusion is that occupational scales (ISEI, Treiman, CAMSIS) explain essentially the same variance as an individual’s educational level, while Wright explains the same variance as income level. The EGP scale arguably produces the best result, although its predictive abilities are not going beyond that of a combination of “raw” socio-demographic variables (age, education, income). In the second part of the paper, I try to identify the aspects of the Russia’s social structure responsible for the shortcomings of the international scales. The major “suspect” is the relative independence of income (and occupational prestige closely related to it) from membership in status groups defined through their education, lifestyle, and interaction closure. Membership in status groups, but possibly not for that in income strata, are likely to be reproduced inter-generationally.

social stratification; social structure; socioeconomic status; occupational prestige; occupational scales; EGP scale; CAMSIS; ISEI; Wright’s stratification schema; Treiman’s scale


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