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Russian society’s structuration during the first half of the 20th century (based on material from Russian sociological studies of the time)

Research Article

Lyudmila A. Belyaeva Doctor of Sociology
Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences, Моscow, Russia
ORCID ID=0000-0003-0538-7331
Russian society’s structuration during the first half of the 20th century (based on material from Russian sociological studies of the time).
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2020. Vol. 11. No. 4. P. 15-42

Дата поступления статьи: 17.07.2020
This Article is downloaded: 225 times
Topic: Determinants and transformations of Russian society in time and space

For citation:
Belyaeva L. A. Russian society’s structuration during the first half of the 20th century (based on material from Russian sociological studies of the time). Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2020. Vol. 11. No. 4. P. 15-42
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2020.11.4.676


This article is an extension of a series of works dedicated to the shaping of Russian society’s structure. The author’s reasoning is based on the assumption that, when evaluating changes in the structuration of Russian society over a long period of time – from the mid-1800’s and until today, which is the focus of the series of articles we mentioned – one should bear in mind that the most radical and, in many respects, catastrophic shifts occurred as a result of two groundbreaking events – the Bolshevik coup of 1917 and the collapse of the Soviet Union with the consequent transition to a market economy, which took place during the 1990’s. Both of these occurrences disrupted the evolutionary development of Russian society, and caused social shifts which cannot be definitively assessed, with them having radically changed society’s structuration. Influenced by these events, the country’s social composition underwent some fundamental changes, as did the people’s life-worlds, relationships between different social groups and layers of the population, and finally interactions with the new elites that sprouted from these social crises. In this article, which deals with processes that took place during the 1920’s and 1930’s, the author once again relies on the methodology of A. Giddens’, who suggested using the theory of structuration to analyze social relationships in space and time. Structuration processes are examined through the lens of studies conducted during that period, in the heat of the moment, so to speak. Even when taking into account the political restrictions of the time, you can still trace how exactly contemporary scientific studies and statistical research reflected those social processes, including the structuration of society. This article utilizes the works of P. Sorokin, A. Rashin, L. Minz, A. Khryasheva and S. Prokopovich, among other researchers, as well as materials from the 1897, 1926 and 1937 population censuses. The article is limited to the period from the beginning of the century and up until the 1920’s and 1930’s, and consequently the studies that were conducted during that period.


sociology, structuration, social and professional structure, 1926 and 1939 censuses, working class, peasantry


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