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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The article presents the results of a sociological survey conducted by the South Russian branch of the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the summer and autumn of 2013. The public opinion on poverty and social inequality is analyzed. The authors show that the main reasons that reproduce poverty in such a rich country as Russia lie in the limited possibilities of realizing human and social capital. The question of what causes poverty as a social phenomenon allows as to differentiate three models of assessments: a) stigmatizing, b) neutral-sympathetic and c) paternalistic. Among the all-Russian estimates, there is a clearly defined leading group whose responses classify poverty as a phenomenon caused by the socially maladaptive qualities of the poor themselves. Among the residents of Rostov Region, a completely different approach prevails, which explains the differences in the value attitude towards poverty. In general, the residents of the region attribute poverty to structural and institutional contradictions: unemployment, social policy, family difficulties. Among the poor layers of Rostov Region, this trend is even more intensified. The main reasons for their plight these people deem a bad social policy, a low level of economic development in the region. Despite this, in Rostov Region, there is an overall greater level of tolerance towards the rich and lesser – towards the poor (that is, people are more indifferent towards them). In general, this should indicate a lesser social stratification in the region and an approximation of average incomes to the standards acceptable for the region. Access to medical services in Russia is a serious problem for many residents of Rostov Region: on an individual level, the inequality of access to medical care has proved to be the most painful type of inequalities present in modern Russia, while for society as a whole the most painful type of inequality was recognized the “Income inequality” type.
poverty, social inequality, social stratification, Rostov region, human and social capital