9th Conference European Sociological Association

RS15 Rethinking intergenerational transmission of inequalities

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Changing Patterns of Inequalities Building II, C6.09

Reproduction of Social Inequality in Urban Russia: Investigating the Effects of In-Family Culture Transmission

The industrialization, being the core source for accelerated development of the most Russian provincial centres, had a vast impact on the social and institutional basis of their urban environment. The important aspect of this industrialization was the adaptation of rural migrants, which along with intense inter-regional exchange played a vital role in the forming of the cultural environment of Russian provincial cities. It was highly likely for most non-working class families to provide higher education for their children outside the native city or even region. But everything has drastically changed with the implementation of market reforms of the beginning of the 1990s. Although the demand for higher education grew rapidly and stimulated the development of many provincial universities as well as the emergence of many new ones (state-budgeted and commercial), less families could afford the luxury of quality education for their children. Provincial universities are now producing a limited number of graduates to satisfy the region's demand for specialists, which leads to a state of "cultural isolationism".
In our research we attempt to investigate the relationship between the character of urban development and the change in family's socio-cultural characteristics in the course of several generations (based on materials from Russian representative surveys held in 1994, 2002 and 2006 and a qualitative study). The research focuses on rather complex, but vital and long-discussed aspects of this relationship: how an urban family behaves in relation to education, culture and communications by exploiting the infrastructure provided by their city; what role the pre-accumulated cultural resource of an individual family plays in the forming and further use of the human capital apart from its economic situation, etc.