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The Russian precariat: human capital accumulation of different age groups

Zinaida T. Golenkova, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, main researcher, ,
mailto: golenko@isras.ru
Yuliya V. Goliusova, Candidate of Sociology leading researcher, ,
mailto: ygoliusova@yandex.ru
The Russian precariat: human capital accumulation of different age groups.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2016. Vol. 7. No. 3. P. 57-69

DOI: DOI: 10.19181/vis.2016.18.3.412

This Article is downloaded: 351 times
Topic: Status of Social Strata and Groups in the Regions of Modern Russia

For citation:
Zinaida T. Golenkova., Yuliya V. Goliusova. The Russian precariat: human capital accumulation of different age groups. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2016. Vol. 7. No. 3. P. 57-69
DOI: https://doi.org/DOI: 10.19181/vis.2016.18.3.412


This article examines the issue of weak involvement among Russia’s informally employed population in the process of accumulating human capital by means of receiving higher or additional education, as well as adaptation to labor market conditions within various age and status groups. A sign of our times has become the fact we currently see at the forefront such things as knowledge capital in all of its forms, together with migration capital, which allow for individuals to travel through time and space while utilizing the knowledge that they constantly receive. This knowledge becomes associated with its practical use, i.e. the way people use it in their everyday activities. “Precarious” people may include those who are employed under a temporary labor or civil contract, those who work without in any way formalizing their labor relations, seasonal laborers, young specialists-interns (generally fresh out of college), as well as the so-called NEET youths (“not in education, employment or training”), who are employed neither in the educational system, nor on the labor market. In Russian sociological practice it is possible to operationalize part of the precariat via officially formalized full time employment based on a labor contract with one’s main place of work. Of course, this is not the only such highlighting criterion, but its credibility can not be subject to doubt, for this parameter is reflected in official statistics. “Precarious” people do not see the need to increase their individual human capital, they do not use the system of continuous education to enhance it, and they are quite passive and inert. Young specialists agree to make concessions when it comes to their salary expectations if it helps them achieve a stable status on the labor market. Flexibility is the main quality which can lead to stability. The higher the level of education and the amount of human capital a certain individual has – the more stable status he possesses, and the less he is prone to spontaneous and hasty decisions. Also examined are the likely consequences of a lack of interest for education among “precarious” groups of Russian society.


precariat, human capital, education, higher education, professional development, young professionals, NEET-young people, the danger of ressentiment.


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