Comparative Сharacteristics of the Мiddle Сlass in Post-Soviet Russia
There is an extensive body of sociological literature addressing how middle class was formed and developed in Western societies. However, relatively little research exists examining what are the avenues formiddle class development in transitional societies that have appeared after the collapse of the USSR.
The paper tries to address this gap in existent social sciences literature. The study is based on the desk research, on the conceptual and theoretical analysis of data provided by the secondary sources: Russian state statistical agencies (Rosstat), public opinion polls, specific publications in professional journals.
The paper reveals that driven by contemporary increases in economic inequalities, there has been a recent renewal of a diverse series of approaches to the study of middle class and inequality. While these approaches, such as Bourdieusian class analysis, have made important contributions to understanding class formation, there is also a common baseline amongst these methodologies which our research finding problematizes. We proposes to utilize themulti-criteria approach to definition of middle class structure and to analyze how inequalities are emerging from the ability of some groups to benefit from systemic mismatches in the process of market building in Russian society.
The paper consists of two distinct parts: the first deals with statistical data and information analysis regarding middle class formation in contemporary Russia, it debates assumptions and basic conclusions that stems from official reports concerning middle class expansion in RF. The second part provides open-ended explanations and the qualitative analysis as well as discussion of policies implication for decision makers and state officials.