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.
The HSE has launched a new ‘International Master in Comparative Social Research’ programme at the St. Petersburg’s Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (LCSR). The Programme’s Academic Director is Ronald Inglehart, Head of the LCSR, world-renowned expert in comparative social research, and a professor at the HSE St. Petersburg and the University of Michigan. The Programme’s Director, also a renowned expert, is Christopher Swader, Associate Professor of the HSE Moscow’s Faculty of Sociology. The International Advisory Board and the pool of lecturers include Eduard Ponarin, Head of the LCSR; Christian Welzel, HSE Professor; Arye Rattner, Professor at the University of Haifa; Joshua Dubrow, Associate Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, IFiS-PAN; and others.
This year the programme will enroll 18 students; eventually the number of places will grow to 25. The official application deadline is May 31, 2014. The application package includes the results of international English-language tests (if the student is not a native speaker), such as TOEFL, IELTS, or CAE. ‘We haven’t set any limits in terms of English certificate grades. Students can apply with the results they have. And it’s not necessary to pass the GRE specially for the application’, Programme Director Christopher Swader explained.
The most promising students will be offered a scholarship and free tuition. ‘Scholarships are offered to those students who have achieved the highest level of academic success and who have high potential to become professional sociologists. The students’ research, and their academic interests and experience will be very important in the admission process. Free tuition will be offered by the same criteria’, Chris Swader said. He added that the exact number of budget-financed places and scholarships hasn’t yet been approved, but ‘we are planning to award at least four scholarships, the same number of free places for students from Russia, the CIS, and the Baltic countries, and four or more free places for students from other countries’. For fee-paying students, the programme will cost 300,000 roubles (about $8,300).
Classes will start this coming September and will be held consecutively in different locations. The first semester of study will take place in Moscow, and the second – in St. Petersburg. The third semester will include a research internship at one of the HSE’s international partner universities. During the fourth and last semester, students will work on their theses under the supervision of their academic supervisor, a St. Petersburg LCSR researcher.
The first two semesters of study include theoretical disciplines (Social Theory, Comparative Sociology, and Contemporary Social Analysis) and methods (quantitative and qualitative methods, multilevel regression analysis, and comparative empirical methods), as well as lectures and master classes by invited international instructors and experts.
‘We’ll offer something that hasn’t been developed within the HSE before. The programme prepares students for international academic work and research. I believe it will fill its niche and create a new platform for sociological studies at the HSE’, Christopher Swader commented.
Participating students will be able to select their place of internship and thesis topic so long as they are in line with the programme’s requirements. ‘Internships will be varied. For example, an intern in Lüneburg will be able to help Professor Christian Welzel in his studies on emancipation values – to carry out quantitative analysis in this new area. Or they can work in Rome with Fabio Sabatini on social capital and technologies’, Christopher Swader suggested.
Daria Shubina, specially for the HSE News Service
The English-taught master's programme in Comparative Social Research studies sociology from a global perspective and is intended for those who are interested in understanding how people's actions affect society and what influences the decisions and self-identification of individuals and groups in different cultures, regions and circumstances. Students participate in interregional and cross-country quantitative and qualitative research, working on their own projects. The programme’s academic supervisor Ekaterina Mitrofanova told HSE News Service about the course’s features and admission process.
Natalia Soboleva has examined the impact of various factors on the link between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. Using data from the European Values Study, she found the association between job satisfaction and life satisfaction to vary across sociodemographic characteristics. In particular, job satisfaction contributes more significantly to life satisfaction for men compared to women, while being married weakens the association between job satisfaction and life satisfaction. The paper is published in the International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.