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Important announcements 2


Comparative Perspectives on Social Values and Modernization, Second Day, April 25, 2011

The Laboratory for Comparative Social Studies hosted the international workshop «Comparative Perspectives on Social Values and Modernization» in Saint Petersburg on April 24-27 2011.

Kirill Zhirkov

Topic: "The interconnection between dissatisfaction, anti-Americanism, and antimodernism: a cross-national study"

The author plans to define such terms as life-dissatisfaction, anti-Americanism and anti-modernism using factor analysis. He also uses exploratory factor analysis to figure out, which variables should be included into indices. As for now, Kirill has found that anti-Americanism can be split into 2 parts: general negative attitude towards the USA and dislike of certain elements of American society, such as business or foreign policy. 


Christopher Swader and Leonid Kosals

Topic: "Informal Relationships and Modernization in transformation countries and beyond" (New Projest!)

The researchers illustrated the connection between modernization and informal relations. At first, modernization is closely linked to formality, the second thing is that is becomes one of the basic instruments for the development of informal relations and anomy. The authors try to solve certain questions. They want to explore how modernization influences primary links (family and friends); how it matters for business (in formal sector). Also they wonder if informal links cramp or help modernization. 


Larisa Kosova

Topic: "Social and Cultural Potential of Modernization: Case of Russia in the International Context " (New Project!)

The researcher tends to answer an up-to-date question: Does modernization in Russia have good chances or not? For this purpose she compares Russia to other countries at different stages of modernization using factor and cluster analysis. As the phenomenon itself is quite vague, Larisa decided to focus on 2 aspects: social and cultural. According to her preliminary results the chances for effective modernization in contemporary Russia are quite low.


Anna Shirokanova

Topic: "Individualization of Morality and Sources of Social Solidarity in Post-Soviet East European Societies" (New Project!)

Anna analyses the level of moral individualization and the role of basic traditional factors of social solidarity in post-Soviet societies such as family, religious organizations, trade unions etc. The researcher assumes that in the countries where a person is strongly bound to family, political parties, trade unions and religious organizations, he/she feels more satisfied with life. If a person is not included into all these networks he/she feels dependent from the state and do not control their life. 


Maria Kravtsova

Topic: "Can corruption constrain itself?" (New Project!)

Maria assumes that at the certain level of country development corruption can speed up the process of modernization. After that corruption starts to constrain itself. The research question is whether corruption is evoked by low level of existential security (economical and physical) and what are the mechanisms of its rising in state and private sector. The hypothesis is that in state sector low income is the main source of existential insecurity? In private sector there are several sources of it. Maria also thinks that income inequality between private and state sectors leads to corruption.  


Magun Vladimir

Topic: "Cross-National Clusters Based on Traditional/Secular-Rational Values and Survival/Self-Expression Values and Their Use for Studying the Between-Country Similarities and Differences in Europe"

This project aims to show the difference in values on cross-country level taking into account in-country differences. The researcher conducted factor and cluster analysis and found 4 clusters. 1) Strong inclination to self-expression and propensity towards rational/secular values is above average (typical for Scandinavian countries). 2) Strong inclination to rational/secular values and orientation on survival values (post-communist countries of Europe). 3) Very strong preference inclination to traditional values and average position on the scale “Survival – Self-expression” (Italy, Poland, Macedonia). 4) Very strong inclination to survival values and tendency to traditional values above average. (post-communist countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia). 


Maxim Rudnev

Topic: "Testing the Predictive Power and Predictability of the Inglehart and Schwartz Value Concepts"  

There are 2 main theoretical approaches towards values in contemporary sociology. One of them was designed by R. Inglehart, the second – by S. Schwarz. They have different instrumentation for measuring and evaluating values. Which of them has more predictive power? Or are they equally effective but in different fields? What are the fields then? Maxim attempts to answer these questions in his research project. The work is still in progress and the results are complex and not final. It was stated that Schwarz measurement correlates with age and gender, Inglehart’s doesn’t, but his method is more sensitive to income level. 


Alexander Lissovsky

Topic: "Possible cohort effects in values continuity and change – cross-country comparison" (New Project!)

Respondents are often percept by the scholars as expects in certain fields. That is why many of them have to answer questions they are not competent in. Sometimes the questions do not correlate with person’s experience and real life. As a result, the researchers do not get what they expect, but very sketchy opinions and attitudes. Alexander assumes that this problem may be solved. He also told about his hypotheses about measuring differences in values between generations. Alexander believes that these differences should be explained more by intergenerational continuity than by changes of norms in one generation. He plans to check these hypotheses basing upon data for 4 countries: Russia, Poland, Sweden and Germany. 


Olga Gryaznova

Topic: "Collectivistic and individualistic values as factors affecting subjective conceptions and evaluations of state social support" (New Project!)

The main research question of the project is how individualistic and collectivistic values influence on conceptualization of effective social policy. In this case social policy is taken as care about vulnerable groups of population and reduction of various risks in Russia and other European countries.  Olga plans to analyze possible correlations between collectivistic and individualistic values and requests for state social support in Russia comparing to other European countries. She also wants to focus on attitudes towards social security and insurance.