Background: Alcohol is a common target of counterfeiting in Russia. Counterfeit alcohol is defined here as the manufacture, distribution, unauthorized placement (forgery) of protected commodity trademarks, and infringement of the exclusive rights of the registered trademark holders of alcoholic beverages. It is often argued that the expansion of the counterfeit product market is due to the steady demand of economically disadvantaged people for low-priced goods. The situation becomes more complicated once deceptive and nondeceptive forms of counterfeiting are taken into account. This study aimed to identify markers of risky behavior associated with the purchase of counterfeit alcohol in Russia. Methods: The analysis relied on consumer self-reports of alcohol use and purchase collected nationwide by the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) in 2012 to 2014. I used a generalized linear mixed-model logistic regression to identify predictors of risky behavior by consumers who purchased counterfeit alcohol, either knowingly or unknowingly, during the 30 days preceding the survey. Results: Purchases of counterfeit alcohol declined slightly from 2012 to 2014, mainly due to a decrease in consumers mistakenly purchasing counterfeit products. Predictors of counterfeit alcohol purchases differed between consumers who knowingly and unknowingly purchased counterfeit products. Nondeceptive purchase of counterfeit alcohol was related primarily to an indifference to alcohol brands. Consumers with social networks that include drinkers of nonbeverage alcohol and producers of homemade alcohol were highly likely to consume counterfeit alcohol deliberately. Problem drinking was significantly associated with a higher risk of both deceptive and nondeceptive purchases of counterfeit alcohol. Poverty largely contributed to nondeceptive counterfeiting. Conclusions: The literature has overestimated the impact of low prices on counterfeit alcohol consumption. Problem drinking and membership in social networks of consumers of surrogate alcohol (i.e., nonbeverage) are more influential in explaining why people purchase counterfeit alcohol. Further research on these 2 factors is needed to more fully understand the purchase and consumption of counterfeit alcoholic beverages.
The article focuses on the theoretical and methodological problems encountered by the Russian scholars of cooperative organizations. The authors identify four basic methodological approaches to the cooperation phenomenon in the Russian academic tradition: (1) socio-reformist (or socio-ideological), (2) descriptive-monographic, and (3) economic-theoretical, with the first two being dominant. After a short discussion of the prospects and limitations of the theoretical studies of cooperatives as business organizations by Russian scholars, some of the distinguishing features of Russian cooperation thought are mentioned. Considering the features of the Russian cooperative thought, the authors found it useful to name the most prominent Russian researchers of cooperation who can be included in the ICA list of the world cooperative heritage. The authors pay special attention to the myth of the first Russian cooperative and the Decembrists as the first Russian cooperators. Unfortunately, this myth was officially recognized and determines the birthday of the cooperative movement in Russia. The article briefly discusses the contribution to cooperative thought made by Antsiferov, Bilimovich, Tugan-Baranovsky, Chayanov, and Totomianz. Special attention is paid to the scientific contribution of Emelianoff, almost unknown in modern Russia, and the fate of his ideas. Finally, the authors emphasize the particular importance of describing the transformations and the most important achievements of the Russian and foreign cooperative thought in the curriculum of the discipline “Theory and practice of cooperation”.
The Journal of Economic Sociology (Ekonomicheskaya Sotsiologiya) (http://ecsoc.hse.ru/en) was established in 2000. It was one of the first academic e-journals in Russia at the time when only 3.6% of Russians had Internet access, uploading a 1Mb file took up to 10 minutes on average, and 56% of urban residents in Russia did not have an idea what the Internet meant.
Through a study of agricultural service cooperatives in Russia’s Belgorod region, this article addresses two gaps in the literature: first, the dearth of empirical studies on cooperatives in post-socialist Russia; second, the lack of attention to top-down cooperatives in the global literature, and the overly negative approach to the topic in the few extant studies. Whereas state attempts to establish agricultural cooperatives in Russia in a top-down fashion have largely failed, such cooperatives have sprung up widely in Belgorod. The article investigates: (1) what influence the (regional) state exerts on the cooperatives, and how that affects their daily functioning and viability; and (2) to what extent such top-down cooperatives might evolve into less state-led forms, such as classic member-driven or business-like cooperatives.
In his book Government of Paper, Matthew Hull questions the way in which bureaucracies are enacted in practice through the analysis of the material products of their lifecycle—documents. Documents constantly engage with different people, places, and things, becoming “bureaucratic objects” that mediate all actors and objects involved. Previously overlooked in theoretical studies, the material side of documents seems to be crucial for shaping the governance of a city and its inhabitants. As writing practices and “graphic artifacts” establish a stable relationship between words and things, discourse, and individuals/objects/environments, a focus on documents can provide a new methodological perspective in the analysis of state bureaucracies. The book contains six parts: The introduction provides the reader with a theoretical framework on the material practices of bureaucracy establishment. It is followed by five thematic chapters devoted to different types of widely used documents among state bureaucrats of the Islamabad Capital Territory Administration (ICTA) and Capital Development Authority (CDA).
Using a qualitative approach, this study explores Russians’ reactions to increases in consumer prices caused by the current economic crisis. The financial turbulence has reinforced doubts about the fairness of market prices and the overall legitimacy of the market order in Russia. Suspicion and cynicism about the state and seller behavior become the main mode of price perception, encouraging proactive, calculating pricing behavior. Respondents’ narratives reveal that proactive pricing behavior is considered to be a sign of social competence, financial independence, and high cognitive capacity. Proactive pricing behavior allows consumers to use their purchasing power for resistance to market injustice and social insecurity and to increase personal sustainability.
The article discusses the price perception of Russian consumers. The data gathered from in-depth interviews with economically active residents of Moscow demonstrate that the interpretation of price can be thematized according to four main categories: “not to be deceived,” “prices are watched by the clever not the poor,” “people like me buy at such prices,” and “some products are worth the price.” The study shows that Russian consumers are more and more artfully mastering the grammar of market prices. Prudence in relation to prices and expenses is forming its own place among cultural values in Russia, where prodigal waste was once an indicator of social success.
Review of the 4-th International Conference of BICAS: Agro-Extractivism Inside and Outside BRICS
The XVIIIth April International Academic Conference on Economic and Social Development, which was organized at the Higher School of Economics, included a section on “Demography and Labor Markets”. The first day was devoted to the problems of registration and methods of analysis of population data, migrants in contemporary Russia and their integration into the Russian economy, and the use of data mining tools in demographic research. On the second day, there was a discussion of workers’ subjective well-being, unemployment, and global and regional labor markets. The list of speakers included B. Rao and P. Singh (both: Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee), A. Sulaberidze (Ilia State University, Georgia), S. Biryukova, D. Gizdatullin, D. Ignatov, E. Mitrofanova, A. Muratova, E. Papanova, E. Polyakova, A. Rezyapova, A. Shevchuk, E. Soroko, D. Strebkov, E. Vardanyan, and N. Voronina (National Research University Higher School of Economics), Y. Florinskaya and I. Kazenin (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration under the President of the Russian Federation), Т. Blinova, K. Doronina, P. Sushko (Russian Academy of Sciences), and M. Giltman (Tyumen State University). Russian experts in labor economics, demography, and math, namely S. Roshchin, A. Vishnevsky, L. Smirnykh, V. Gimpelson, M. Denisenko, R. Kapelyushnikov, A. Makarov, and N. Mkrtchyan, also took part in the discussion.
Western literature identifies financial conflict as the main predictor of divorce in families and the most difficult and prolonged issue for spouses. However, the determinants of their occurrence remain a “blind spot” in the vast body of research devoted to marital conflicts and financial management. This article seeks to conceptualize financial conflict and to explain how it arises. The first part examines empirical studies of family conflicts and the role of money problems. Then, drawing on theories of family systems, family stress, social exchange, distribution of benefits, and role theory, the second part looks at the conflict formation process and possible predictors of financial conflict in the family. The third part of the review is devoted to a detailed examination of three factors in conflict formation at a theoretical level. The first of these is financial management and the opposition of independent strategies and pooling mechanisms. Continuing the theme of financial control, the next factor relates to concepts of power and how the grounds for its construction within a household contribute to financial conflict. The final factor is the gendered division of labor, which, according to a number of studies, is a key factor in marital dissatisfaction (especially for women) and the consequent emergence of conflict. The author concludes that these three factors are interrelated and require empirical verification as predictors of financial conflict in families.
Economic debates in the media and their impact on the economic and political behavior of people are underexamined if compared with similar studies of political or social issues. This paper is aimed at reviewing how economic news are reflected in the academic literature and exploring connections between media, public opinions, and the economic situations. The paper is based on research articles indexed in international citation bases. The most recent relevant texts are selected based on their citations. A special attention is paid to the negative bias in economic news. The author focuses upon the research of economic debates in the media during the financial crisis of 2008. This case is particularly important, because much of the existing research on this topic is devoted to this economic shock. The author concludes that that people's interest in economic information increases when economic situation is instable. At the same time, the character of people's perceptions can affect the media debates.
December 19, 2016 three tragedies occurred: mass poisoning by surrogate alcohol in Irkutsk, murder of Russian ambassador in Turkey and the terrorist attack at Christmas market in Berlin. Studies show that public opinion about the causes and circumstances of such events is associated with the way these issues are covered in a variety of the media: television news, printed media and Internet publications. In this study, we examined how these tragedies were presented in the Russian media. The murder of the ambassador in Turkey was the most popular subject, and all types of media aired similar views. The tragedy of mass poisoning by surrogate alcohol was very differently covered in different types of media, from criticism of the authorities to attempts to deproblematize the situation. The terrorist attack in Berlin attracted the least attention of the media and contrary to murder of the ambassador in Turkey had a lot of interpretations. The analysis of news in three types of the media shows that the degree of attention to these issues and the image formed by them depend not so much on the objective circumstances of the tragedy, but on several socio-political factors, including connectivity with other relevant media issues, the type of media and its target audience, as well as the official position of the authorities.
The paper examines the phenomenon of office workers’ overwork. Statistical data demonstrates that modern Russians tend to work more than 40 hours a week, thereby exceeding the legal time allowance that traces its roots back to a period when largescale manual labor was the norm. Increasing proportions of tertiary and quaternary sectors in the Russian economy suggests that the “normal” 40-hour work week is a redundant constraint and workers perceive the “norm” differently. According to the existing literature, overwork can reflect a worker’s personality traits, and institutional or economic changes. In the research article, an analysis of the motives of overwork is provided. Also, evidence of the differences in perceptions of what constitutes a “normal” work day and mental borders between work and overwork is presented. It appears that employees perceive overwork not only as overtime work (the number of hours that they work in addition to their contractual hours), it can also be understood as a work-life imbalance, undesirable dramatic change in lifestyle due to the demands of work, and a psychological and/or physical fatigue that can lead to the loss of a “zest for life.” The following motives were identified: economic (working additional hours for career advancement, salary growth, or at least job security in the future), social (adherence to corporate norms and values), and psychological (escaping from family problems). Special attention was paid to the analysis of institutional working conditions (organizational characteristics) which can lead to overwork.
In 2015, the Russians drew the greatest attention to the economic and political issues. However, events in the field of culture and sport also were memorable for Russians. Mostly people pay attention to the incident in the Russian and international events with the participation of Russia. While international events related only to foreign countries and the news about Russian regions occupy a much smaller place in the most memorable events of the year. It should also be noted that most of the memorable events attracted attention as a result of discussions in the media. Most often it was not connected with personal experience of people. Only 10% of memorable events were related to the «obtrusive», i.e. attracting attention due to direct contact of the respondent with the problem, such as various holidays or premiere movies and TV shows. The article tests the hypothesis of the agenda-setting theory, according to which the media have a significant impact on people's attention to certain issues. We compared the results of the Levada-Center opinion polls on the most memorable events of the month with the number of articles on this subject in the press. The focus of our attention is the period from January 2014 to December 2016. The findings confirm the influence of the intensity of the debate in the media on people's attention to the problem. In addition, the research demonstrated the large importance of the debate in the media during a week prior to the survey than in the whole previous month. Events that occurred shortly before the start of the survey are most memorable for people, as well as the events, for which the debate intensified this period.
The article is based on the results of a social study aimed at exploring the labor norms, in particular normal workday length, overtime and the boundaries between them as viewed by the white-collar workers. The data of 22 semi-structured interviews with the office workers are used in the study. The analysis reveals a discrepancy between the way the workers define their overtime and the way they arrange their everyday practices. Formal excess of work hours is not perceived in fact as overtime by the workers; the author finds out that what is important for the workers is the balance between their professional and personal life as well as the degree of fatigue. The author concludes that workers’ age, sex, family status and how they prioritize work in the list of life priorities shape the way how they delimit work and overtime. Types of overtime are distinguished: formal, informal, involuntary and voluntary.
The book by Zsuzsa Berend is based on a decade-long ethnography of writing behavior of a "self-selected group of amazing women", www.surromomsonline.com users (the SMO’ers). This is not the first, but probably the longest study of American surrogacy and the social dynamics of online discussions, so I'm sure it will become a "must read" for researchers of different fields. The patterns of the discussions initiated by the SMO’ers were connected to parenting and motherhood, work and relationships, contract and money, goods and gifts, which were always the concepts of interest for both economic anthropology and economic sociology. Surrogate mothers and childless couples, who entered into their dialogue without mediators (or, to be precise, via the Internet), were trying to negotiate moral meanings of these concepts in the context of market rationality and to develop a win/win project aiming to bring a new life into the world. Berend who was analyzing their rhetorical efforts by using grounded theory package tried to answer a wider question "is it possible to reconcile morality with markets?". Although she brought some theoretical concepts (in particular, from the field of economic sociology) in her analysis, she also stayed very close to her informants’ explanations of their reality. As a result and in my opinion, Berend found her answer to this question in the ‘native concept’ of “real altruism” redefining the meaning of reciprocity and the balance of ‘given’ and ‘received’.