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Activism of Russian professionals: social practices


Olga V. Aksenova, Doctor of Sociology leading researcher, , Doctor of Sociological sciences, leading research fellow. Institute of Sociology of the FCTAS RAS, Moscow city, Russia.
mailto: illaio@yandex.ru
Activism of Russian professionals: social practices.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 121-144


This Article is downloaded: 588 times
Topic: Topic of the Issue: «Professional as a subject of social action»

For citation:
Olga V. Aksenova. Activism of Russian professionals: social practices. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2012. Vol. 3. No. 2. P. 121-144



Abstract

The article represents the results of a study of the features of a Russian professional actor and the management system, in which he/she is included. Social practices, as well as values, norms, specifics of reflection and decision-making by an acting subject are examined in historical retrospective. The actor nature of the Soviet model of industrialization is justified. An analysis of activism of Soviet professionals takes a central place in this study. It is carried out through qualitative methods of data collection and analysis: in-depth interviews, analysis of memories published and stored in family archives, secondary analysis of research results of Russian and Western sociologists and other documents. It is found that the main role in the Soviet (Russian) control system is played by the actor, who independently is able to solve the problems for which there is yet no plan of action, to work in unknown and unpredictable circumstances and to change the surrounding reality. This system is built on a combination of centralism and decentralization, its main functional element is the autonomous spaces that provide the professional with a relative freedom of decision-making. The level of specialization in it is lower than in the technological system. The functions performed by the Soviet (Russian) entity are fragmented in western system among several performers. Repeated attempts to transition to the technological system were unsuccessful. First, they came up against the resistance of the professional community. It must be said that most of its members considered and consider themselves supporters of Western modernization, but interpret it in accordance with their values and perceptions. Secondly, a successful transition to the technological system requires a standardized environment, developed communications and other conditions that are absent in Russia. The reasons for the emergence and stability of a different version of modernization and, accordingly, of management in Russia require additional research. No less important is the question of whether it is really necessary to renounce the tradition of a professional actor in the “old” system and to switch to the technological system.

Keywords

actor, agent, centralization, decentralization, reflection, norms, values, freedom, decision making process, industrial development

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