HSE Journal on Sociology is Read in 55 Countries
This year the Sociological Review journal celebrates its 10th anniversary. Alexander Filippov, its Editor-in-Chief, Head of the Center of Fundamental Sociology, HSE Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities, told us about the mission, history and authors of the journal.
— Dr. Filippov, 10 years is a long time for a journal. Has its concept changed over the past decade
— Initially the journal was founded as part of one of the projects of the Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences (MSSES), where we had an opportunity to create a collection of e-resources for sociological education. At that time, the Center of Fundamental Sociology (CFS) did not formally exist, though it was already known thanks to its publishing activities: some books on philosophy, sociology, anthropology and political science had been published under its name. So, for me and my colleagues it was quite tempting to create such a resource, all the more so that we had a successful example which is Vadim Radaev’s journal on economic sociology.
Since 2007 the Sociological Review has been published with the support of the HSE, and of course this has seriously changed the journal’s policy. Firstly, the formal requirements regarding the sections which are financially supported by the university have become tougher. In addition, the requirements for the texts have become stricter, now they have to pass the procedure of obligatory reviewing. This has been a difficult process of transfer from full freedom to some formal rules, but it is really useful: the quality of the texts has undoubtedly grown.
— How do you choose the priorities, the topics which are developed in the Sociological Review?
— Theoretical sociology is very broad and we cannot claim to be competent in all areas. The journal primarily includes those areas where the staff of the Center of Fundamental Sociology are actively involved or those of colleagues who supplement it with their serious academic interests. At their suggestion we usually publish series of materials on a certain theme – original and translated articles, reviews and abstracts. This trend can easily be tracked: for example, thanks to Viktor Vakhshtain a number of remarkable articles were published in the journal dedicated to the analysis of Erving Goffman’s ideas. Dmitry Kurakin, affiliated researcher at the Yale University Center for Cultural Sociology, promotes the development of cultural sociology at the CFS and in the journal. By the way, among the members of the editorial board is the founder of this area, Geoffrey Alexander, Professor at the Yale University. Last year we published a special issue on cultural sociology which included works by P. Smith, D. Kurakin and G. Alexander, including some written specially for the Sociological Review.
We have a strong and promising researcher, Anna Borisenkova, and in September thanks to her effort and the HSE’s support, an international conference on Paul Ricoeur studies entitled ‘New Perspectives on Hermeneutics in the Social Sciences and Practical Philosophy’ will take place at the HSE. Paul Ricoeur is a prominent French philosopher, his work is important both for sociology and other human sciences. The geographical origin of applications is impressive even today: from Canada to Brazil, from Arkhangelsk to South Africa.
We have fruitful and important contacts with American ethnometodologists. This work is coordinated by Svetlana Bankovskaya, our leading researcher, professor at the Faculty of Sociology. Ethnometodology is a large area of modern sociology, but our main contact is Anne Rowles, who worked closely with Harold Garfinkel, the founder of ethnometodology, who recently passed away. She is the most renowned and the only authorized interpreter and publisher of his texts, a deep and versatile researcher. Our journal publishes both texts by Rowles herself and the texts that we have found thanks to her.
We have big hopes for the CFS project on mobility sociology which involves cooperation with John Urry from the Lancaster University. His Centre for Mobilities Research (CeMoRe) is an official partner of the CFS. This year our staff member Vladimir Popov will publish his article in the CeMoRe’s journal ‘Mobilities’, and we are planning to publish a number of articles about the results of our research in the Sociological Review.
— What is the target audience of your journal?
— I would bend the truth if I say that our journal is absolutely necessary to all sociologists. Sociology today is a very multilateral discipline, and for many colleagues the areas I spoke before do not seem important and interesting. We, of course, focus primarily on those who work in the relevant areas, which means narrow specialists and those who are still searching for their own area in the science. But readers with broad interests are also very important for us, both sociologists and representatives of other specializations. Do we have many readers? Experts advise us not to trust visitor statistics, so I would not like to name exact figures. But there are some indirect indicators which are very important for us. We see that the number of visitors is growing annually. And the geographical origin of our readers is also very interesting: in addition to the CIS and Baltic countries, it includes Germany, Great Britain, France, USA, Canada, Bulgaria, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, China, Turkey, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines and Iceland. In total, there are 54 countries excluding Russia. It is also important that the journal is a useful information resource for lecturers. Through the creation of a collection of high-quality academic texts, we can, in a certain way, influence the sociological education.
— What can we expect from the next issue?
— In late May the 25th anniversary issue of the journal will be published. I asked each member of the CFS staff to supply a text which they can be proud of, that’s why it will contain many original articles. In some sense, this will be the CFS’s self-report on the work which has been carried out throughout all these years, and an honest answer to the question of what we are capable of today.
Lyudmila Mezentseva, HSE News Service
People’s values of personal choice, suсh as their attitudes towards abortion, divorce, and premarital sex, are usually determined their level of education, age, religiosity, and social status. At least this is the case in many countries such as the US and those in Europe. In a recent study, HSE sociologists found that in post-Soviet countries, personal values are most determined by people’s level of patriotism.
More than 500 large families in three Russian federal districts were surveyed to explore reasons why couples choose to have many children. Five main patterns were identified, driven by values (partner trust and religious beliefs), socioeconomic circumstances (income and education), and availability of support from extended family and friends.
Friederike Augustin is a second year Master’s student in Comparative Social Research double degree programme with Free University of Berlin. After reading European Studies for her Bachelor’s she enrolled in an Eastern European Studies programme to have the opportunity to spend some time in Russia.
The turnstiles and entrance gates used in municipal transport not only ensure that passengers pay, but also structure their behavior according to age, body size, ability and speed. Many people must maneuver themselves to pass easily through the rotating arms or swinging gates of an Automated Passage Control System (APCS): passengers cannot be too large or too small and must not walk too quickly or too slowly. Sociologists studied how turnstiles impose uniformity on passengers’ physicality and behaviour.
Although HIV infection rates are high among the transgender community in Russia, many transgender people know very little about the virus, as well as their own health status. In Russia’s first study to examine transgender people as an at-risk social group for HIV transmission, demographers attribute these high infection rates to the community’s social stigmatization and isolation, as well as a lack of access to medical services. The study’s findings have been published in the HSE journal, Demographic Review.
Advice from Above: Sociologists Have Assessed the Impact that Priests Have on How Their Parishioners Vote
Political preferences of at least 21% of Orthodox voters in Russia may be influenced by the clergy and their fellow believers. Based on an online survey of 2,735 respondents, HSE University sociologists Kirill Sorvin and Maksim Bogachev concluded that religion has a considerable impact on people’s political choices. The scholars assume that the share of those who vote ‘in an Orthodox way’ may be higher: many respondents were under 34, and young people are a minority among Orthodox believers in Russia.
The greatest fear of young women living in big cities is that of sexual violence. It is not necessarily based on the actual crime rate in the city but often instilled by family and society. As a result, women tend to carefully pre-plan their behaviour and movements in 'suspicious' places based on safety concerns. HSE researchers interviewed a group of young women about certain aspects of their fears and strategies they use to deal with it.
Couples with three or more children often feel that others judge or refuse to understand them. Their decision to have many children seems to annoy their extended family, neighbours, colleagues, health professionals and government bureaucrats. Very often, other large families are the only one who offer them support. Based on findings from in-depth interviews, HSE researchers describe the effect that social interactions can have on fertility.
A flexible schedule is one of the main advantages of freelance work. But don’t rejoice in your freedom just yet: self-employment often disrupts the balance between life and work and takes up more time than traditional office work. HSE University researchers Denis Strebkov and Andrey Shevchuk investigated the downsides of independent work.
The main channel for transmitting the value of volunteerism in Russia is from parents to children, HSE University researchers have found. Younger generations in families begin helping others as they grow up, following the example set by their elders.