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International Sociology for Master’s Students

The HSE is accepting applications to the International Master’s Programme in Comparative Social Research. The programme was developed by the Laboratory of Comparative Social Research in collaboration with the Faculty of Sociology. Training is divided into five blocks: general scientific inquiry, methods, theory and thematic concentrations, the master's thesis, and the international research internship. Eduard Ponarin, Director of the LCSR, shared his views on preparing modern analysts, and in which areas of global economy they could apply their skills and knowledge.

—  Who are the potential applicants of this master’s programme? What career opportunities will the graduates have?

—  The International Master’s Programme in Comparative Social Research is a two-year international programme for those aiming for the international labour market. Graduates of the programme are likely to start working in analytics, which means they will learn to analyze the data and write memos based on the results for business and governmental agencies. Our graduates can also continue their education in sociology and get a degree or PhD. However, our primary task is to  prepare specialists, who can analyze data and present it visually and analytically.

Students will study in Moscow for the first semester and in St. Petersburg for the second semester. The third semester will consist of a research internship with one of the HSE's international partners, which include Michigan University, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS), Jacobs University Bremen, the Free University Berlin, EUROLAB GESIS in Cologne, Charles University in Prague, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Institute for Future Studies in Stockholm, and others. Students will spend the final semester working on their thesis in one of many HSE laboratories, depending on their research interests and academic supervisor. The Laboratory of Comparative Social Research is a home base for our students, but there are many other cooperating laboratories at the HSE, so the students are free to choose the one that suits them best.

—  What will they study?

—  Students need theoretical grounding so they have courses in ‘Social Theory’, ‘Comparative Sociology’. But the main block is methodological. The programme includes learning the disciplines on qualitative methods, but a major part of their time will be dedicated to statistical methods of data analysis. There is also a course in academic writing. This year we enroll 16 students, later we plan to enlist 25 students, but not more.

We decided to make this programme free of charge and open for anyone who can’t afford to pay. Enrolment is based on the applicant’s academic success. He/she will have to pass formal English tests, such as GRE-test and TOEFL, and a test in sociology. Most successful students will receive a scholarship. All master’s students will have the opportunity to choose their laboratory, depending on the theme of their thesis and the place, where they would like to work, either in Moscow, Saint Petersburg or abroad.

See also:

Authoritarianism as the Opposite Pole of Postmaterialism

On April 10, Ronald Inglehart, founder of the World Values Survey and the Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, delivered an honorary lecture at the LCSR’s 9th international seminar  held as part of HSE’s XX April Academic Conference. The lecture addressed the roots of authoritarianism, its relationship to other widely investigated phenomena and its empirical linkage with contemporary politics.

VTB Starts Funding Comparative Social Research at HSE

This year VTB is launching the Endowment for Comparative Social Research at HSE. The endowment will make it possible to invest 10-20 million roubles in research each year. The exact amount will depend on trust management of the endowment assets, implemented by VTB Capital Investment Management.

Single People Get Less Happy as They Age

While being single or married does not usually make much difference in terms of life satisfaction for younger people, single individuals tend to feel less happy as they age, particularly at certain moments of their lives, and most single people experience a peak of unhappiness once they retire, according to Anna Shirokanova, Senior Research Fellow of the HSE Laboratory for Comparative Social Research in St. Petersburg.

Life of the Russian Regions is Hidden from the Government

About 40% of the Russian able-bodied population are employed in the informal sector of the economy. This is a competitive market economy. Subsistence production, distributed manufacturing, ‘garage production’, seasonal work and various cottage industries flourish in the Russian regions. The economies of many small cities feature strict specialization and developed cooperation, in the context of internal competition between families and clans. These are the findings of HSE professors  Simon Kordonsky  and  Yury Pliusnin  in their study ‘Social Structure of the Russian Provinces’.

Sexual Revolution Not Universal in Post-Soviet Countries

Attitudes towards family and sexual norms vary widely across the former Soviet Union republics. At the country level, economic development and the level of religiosity both help to determine attitudes, while age plays an important role at the individual level. Middle-aged people tend to be more liberal than those who are older or younger, according to a study conducted by Sofia Lopatina, Veronica Kostenko, and  Eduard Ponarin  of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg.

Belief in Life after Death Affects Suicide Rates

Followers of older, more established religions are less likely to commit suicide than adepts of newer faiths. Factors influencing the risk of suicide include a feeling of isolation from the majority and a belief in life after death, according to a study by Eduard Ponarin, Director of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR) in St. Petersburg, and Vassily Usenko, M.D., Ph.D., from Dnipropetrovsk.

International Conference on Economics and Culture

On November 10-15, the IV International Conference ‘Cultural and Economic Changes in a Comparative Perspective’ took place in St. Petersburg. Organized by HSE’s Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, the conference has traditionally brought together Russian and foreign scholars working on issues of values, trust, social capital, corruption and inequality in a changing world, as well as the role of religion in political activity and other social issues in Russia and other countries.

New Master’s Programme in Sociology for Aspiring Young Researchers

A new English-taught master’s programme at the HSE, ‘International Master in Comparative Social Research’, will allow students to acquire the knowledge and skills that are in demand on the global market for social research. Applications are due by May 31, 2014.

New English-language Master's Programme in Big Data Systems

This year, the HSE Faculty of Business Informatics is launching an English-language master's programme in Big Data Systems. Scholarships are available, particularly for selected applicants who participate in the Olympiad, a competition that is open to students and graduates of university undergraduate and specialist courses from throughout Russia, the CIS, and the Baltic countries. The registration deadline for the Olympiad is March 12, 2014.

The International Master’s Programme in Comparative Social Research

The HSE Faculty of Sociology and the Laboratory of Comparative Social Research are delighted to announce the opening of the International Master’s Programme in Comparative Social Research, which is geared toward ambitious students wanting to build careers as sociologists in academia and research institutions.