Extracurricular activities continue to be popular among Russian youngsters, and most school students attend after-school clubs and classes, including those offered by their own school. Youngsters who are not involved in any after-school activities explain it by not having enough time or not having access to out-of-school programmes which are either non-existent in their community or out of their price range. These are some of the findings of a study by Daniil Alexandrov, Head of the HSE's Research Laboratory of Sociology in Education and Science (St. Petersburg), and Valeria Ivaniushina, Senior Research Fellow of the same Laboratory.
Integrating Russia’s academic community into the larger international community, internationalizing Russian academic journals, and improving the quality of publications and research – these are the ultimate priorities of a new project the HSE is participating in called the Russian Science Citation Index. The project is being carried out on Web of Science, a leading global search engine for academic publications. By the end of next year, a national database is to be created that comprises the best Russian journals and publications from the last ten years. The database will undoubtedly become a part of the international publication space.
Twenty-five million Russians would be prepared to move from cities to the countryside if offered the same living standards in terms of income and available infrastructure. While these conditions cannot be met in Russia at the moment, it is still possible for the government to take steps to encourage urban dwellers to move to rural communities, according to the study Motives, Conditions and Consequences of Migration from the Cities to the Countryside in Russia by Maria Neuvazhaeva, Masters' graduate of the HSE's Faculty of Sociology.
The 2008-2009 financial crisis could have affected people's values; however, researchers have not yet found any such changes in Europe. A study by Maksim Rudnev and Vladimir Magun of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Studies in Mass Consciousness and Peter Schmidt, former head of the HSE's Laboratory for Socio-Cultural Research, suggests that the recent financial crisis may have a delayed effect on society's values.
Migrant workers in the CIS are vulnerable in terms of pension rights. The recipient country does not expect to care for them in old age, while the country of origin does not count the years worked abroad towards their retirement plan. Portable pensions may offer a solution, according to researchers of the HSE's Laboratory for Comparative Social Research (St. Petersburg) involved in the study Pension Mobility within the Eurasian Economic Union and the CIS.
Sanctions and the decline of the ruble have caused inflation rates in Russia to exceed the Ministry of Economic Development's official projection and to hit a three-year maximum. Furter weakening of the ruble will lead to the continued growth of annual inflation, according to the HSE's New Comments on the State and Business.
Most Russians are confident that they only consume legally-produced spirits. The proportion of Russians who consciously purchase counterfeit or bootleg liquor remains relatively small. However, the percentage of those who are either unsure that their drink is the genuine article, or who don't care whether it's fake or genuine, is relatively high. This is what Senior Research Fellow at the HSE's Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology Zoya Kotelnikova found.
Russian society has a generally low level of trust. Colleagues and neighbours are the only exception – Russians regard them as trustworthy. A trusting attitude towards one's inner circle of acquaintances has a greater effect on life satisfaction than trust in public institutions and people in general, according to Anna Mironova, Research Intern of the HSE’s International Laboratory of Socio-Cultural Research.
Not all consumers want to buy things at a discount. Many people prefer expensive stores to discounters since the purchase price of a good can demonstrate that the buyer belongs to a particular social group or to a particular community of buyers, Elena Berdysheva, a Senior Research Fellow in HSE’s Laboratory for Studies in Economic Sociology, said in the paper ‘What Do We Know about Consumers’ Price Perception? Research Findings of Studies in Sociology and Marketing Science’.
Young Russians took the Sochi Olympics as a family holiday rather than a state one. Their parents’ nostalgic memories about the 1980 Olympic Games played their role, which were a personal and at the same time a national event for many Russians. Sochi 2014’s promotion as a national holiday worked worse, though. For young people, the excitement in official media was drowned by criticism of the Olympics on the internet, Anna Sanina, Associate Professor at the HSE St. Petersburg Department of State and Municipal Administration, and research assistants Anastasia Kozlova and Olesya Trigolos, found out.