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Kataeva V. I, Kaurova O. V, Koludarova S. V, Sulyagina J. O, Fomicheva T. V. Barriers of Inequality in Social Institutions of Russia. Biosci Biotechnol Res Asia 2015;12(3)
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Barriers of Inequality in Social Institutions of Russia

V. I. Kataeva, O. V. Kaurova, S. V. Koludarova, J. O. Sulyagina and T. V Fomicheva

Russian State Social University, 4,1, V.Pika, Moscow, 129226, Russia

DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.13005/bbra/1965

ABSTRACT: the article is devoted to the problems of inequality in different social institutions of modern Russia, such as: education and family. The study of inequality is important both for Russia and for the international community. The main indicators, considering the trends of inequality in social institutions, are economic, political, socio-cultural and territorial barriers of inequality. Thus a prerequisite for the emergence and development of inequality in social institutions are administrative barriers that contribute to institutional instability of Russian society as a whole. The purpose of this publication is to analyze the key indicators of the barriers of inequality that are important for the functioning of the social institutions of education and family of Russian society

KEYWORDS: Social institutions; inequality; Russia; education; higher education; marriage; family; barriers

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Kataeva V. I, Kaurova O. V, Koludarova S. V, Sulyagina J. O, Fomicheva T. V. Barriers of Inequality in Social Institutions of Russia. Biosci Biotechnol Res Asia 2015;12(3)

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Kataeva V. I, Kaurova O. V, Koludarova S. V, Sulyagina J. O, Fomicheva T. V. Barriers of Inequality in Social Institutions of Russia. Biosci Biotechnol Res Asia 2015;12(3). Available from: http://www.biotech-asia.org/?p=2257


Problem Definition

The problem of inequality becomes an integral element of society as a reflection of its political, economic and cultural structures. Inequality is the main differentiating factor reflecting the views of individuals about the various chances and opportunities meet the needs.

In the report of the world economic forum’s “Top 10 trends of 2015” the first trend is the inequality. It is noted that inequality is one of the key problems of our time; inequality is a universal problem that must treat the whole world (Mohammed, 2015).

Conference of the European sociological Association, which will be held in Prague in August 2015, is also linked to issues of inequality, since the topic is marked as “Differences, inequalities and sociological imagination.” Thus, international interest in the discussion and study of inequality is now the highest and up to date.

In Russia, the problem of inequality is also significant. According to the report 2014 Credit Suisse Global Wealth inequality in Russia is much higher than in any other major economy in the world”. According to the report 84,8% of the country’s wealth is controlled by only 10%. For comparison, in the US, the richest 10% control 74.6% of the wealth in China is 64% and in Japan – a total of 48.5 per cent (The highest level of inequality in Russia, 2014. 9 December). (Ilina, et al.,2015; Kaurova, et al.,2014; Maloletko, et al.,2015; Kryukova et al., 2014).

The level of Development Problems in Russia

The minimum wage rate (MWR) as an indicator of standard of living of the population causes the development of the material aspects of inequality. Based on data from Eurostat and various authorities of European countries, prepared a ranking of European countries according to the level of the minimum wage, i.e. the value of wages below which into any country forbidden to pay the workers. In Russia from 1 January 2013, the minimum wage in Russia was increased by 13% and reached 5205 rubles. However, Russia’s position on the level of minimum wages in Europe were not affected. Russia retains the low 23-th position of 27 available on the absolute level of the minimum wage and included in the latter three countries largest minimum wages taking into account purchasing power parity

This is evidenced by the results of the ranking of countries by the size of the minimum wage, prepared by experts of the Rating Agency “RIA Rating, with changes in the minimum wages in various countries from 1 January 2013. The analysis was performed through conversion of local currency into rubles at the exchange rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

The rating included the countries of Europe, for which there were relevant available information and in which the minimum wage (minimum wage not available, e.g. Sweden and Finland). Note that the term “minimum wage” in its various modifications in Western countries is treated as a kind of social guarantee to the population (The ranking of countries according to the size of the minimum wages in 2013, 2013). Russia, in terms of the share of expenditure on food in 29.5% is on the 30th place in the ranking of 36 countries in Europe, ahead of not only former Soviet republics (excluding the Baltic States), but also poor Macedonia and Bulgaria. In our country observed the greatest decline in this indicator over the last 5 years – 2 PCT (Russia ranked low in 30th place in the ranking of countries by expenditure on food, 2012).


There are different criteria of inequality highlighted in the classic sociological concepts of E. Durkheim, M. Weber, T. Parsons. However, in the context of social institutions, it is advisable to analyze inequality trends from the point of view of the barriers to equitable distribution of resources and access to them. Under the barrier refers to a combination of factors make it difficult to obtain access to the resources of material and spiritual consumption. Thus, it will be considered by the economic, political, socio-cultural and territorial barriers of inequality, manifested in social institutions of Russia. Particular attention should be paid to the administrative barriers that cause institutional instability of Russian society as a whole and cause disparities in access to resources of the Russian population, depending on the territorial place of residence: Moscow the capital of Russia and the metropolis, cities and towns of Russia, as well as small towns and rural settlements. When work on this study employed methods of analysis of documents: traditional (primary) analysis of documents and secondary, comparative analysis. Practically tested during the work on this project specialized quantitative content-analytic methodology. Thus, the use of “triangular approach” to the study of processes of inequality taking place in modern Russia.


The administrative barrier of Russian society as a basis for social inequality

Administrative barriers that cause inequalities in social institutions, due to legislative norms of the Russian minimum wage as an indicator of standard of living of the population, and the Gini coefficient as a measure of the degree of social stratification of society.

Legislation related to administrative reforms. The concept of administrative reform 2006-2008, adopted by the Government of the Russian Federation of 25 October 2005, (The order of the Government of the Russian Federation “On the Concept of administrative reform in the Russian Federation (2006-2008)”, 2005) provides one of the key areas of standardization of public services.

In accordance with section 3 of the Concept, “the lack of standards of quality and accessibility of public services in the Russian Federation does not allow you to streamline and clarify the obligations of the Executive authorities before the society, that is, obligations of the Russian Federation and subjects of the Russian Federation, due to the laws, other normative legal acts, treaties or agreements before individuals or legal entities, and implement the procedures for monitoring and evaluation of activities of Executive authorities”.

Among the issues identified: the lack of the necessary regulatory framework for the standardization of services provided by the Executive authorities, including the services of a General economic nature; the lack of lists of public services; the inefficiency of the existing system of feedback from users of public services.

The lack of standardization of public services leads currently to a high level of administrative discretion, the uncertainties of obligations of Executive bodies in front of their clients and corruption; excessive government intervention and related additional expenses of the budget and the applicants; a decrease in the quality of public services and maintenance; lack of responsibility of Executive authorities in the exercise of its powers. The introduction of standards of public services should contribute to optimize the cost of their provision, qualitative improvement of relations between the state and society (Yatskin, 2006). The solution to this problem affects the quality and standard of living of the population, since the main targets of state social standardization are wages, state pensions, allowances and other social payments, preferential socio-cultural services provided by state and municipal institutions. (Kryukova et al., 2014)

Thus, the administrative barriers of inequality due to government influence. They contribute to the manifestation of inequality in various social institutions. In modern Russia, especially considering the functioning of social institutions such as education and family, especially because they affect the social reproduction of society. Consider the specifics of inequality within these social institutions in the light of current events in the Russian reality. (Kryukova et al., 2014)

Barriers of inequality in Russian education as a social Institute

Education as a value is determined by the attitude of society to education, to the educational potential of the individual in demand of one or another society (Fomicheva, 2014. pp. 131-149; (Kryukova et al., 2014).

Reforms in Russia have shown that the improvement of the education system is multidimensional, complex, contradictory process. In this process, an emphasis was made on the modernization of educational content, bringing it in line with global trends and tasks of the country’s transition to a market economy, rebuilding infrastructure and economic activity of educational institutions. Destructive trends in the development of the Institute of education in Russia and cause a manifestation of inequality.

Inequality in modern Russia in the field of education, primarily due to the transition to a new modular, multi-level educational system of the country.

First of all, the introduction of different levels of education such as bachelor and master with a radically different number of budget places (2013. just released specialists with higher education in all educational institutions in Russia -1291,0 thousand people, including a bachelor’s degree received 120.2 thousand people, diploma received 1114,3 thousand, a masters degree 56,5 thousand people (Russian statistical Yearbook, 2014).

Economic barriers of inequality in education are: the family income, tuition fees (Konstantinovsky, 2010). The process of stratification of modern Russian society covers such indicators as relevant to access to education, income, and methods for their preparation, relation to the means of production, living conditions, and many others. Based on the values of these indicators are formed of strata (or strata). Often a situation arises where a quality education can afford to get only the children of wealthy parents (Smolin, 2005).

Socio-cultural barriers of inequality in education call: education of parents, employment of parents, the position of parents, family structure, health status of respondents and their parents, nationality, religious affiliation, values and norms of the social group to which belongs the graduate and his parents, the level of teaching in the school of graduate (Constantine, 2010). Education as a social institution should implement in the society, first of all, functions: socialization, transmission of cultural values (Fomicheva, 2013), economic function, the function of social movements. That is, it turns out that the implementation of some of the functions of this social institution is under threat.

Income positively affects the formation of children, number of children negatively. The higher the human capital of the parents, the more knowledge they can pass on to children. This human capital should include also health. Such indicators j. Coleman added social capital is a specific type of resource associated with social relationships (Coleman, 1988). J. Coleman singled internal social capital of the family – family relations and external social capital – inclusion of the family in social institutions and social networks, region of residence, etc. Following the tradition of P. Bourdieu, some researchers highlight the cultural capital (Bourdieu, 1970). Inequality exists already at the level of school choice, the influence of the school on the probability of entering a certain University is very large. Marker is becoming rather the quality of education, or the status of the University. Inequality when receiving other educational services is manifested mainly in access to universities and the professions, and occupations rather on their prestige (associated with the level of wages and the demand for specialists). The quality of education is generally associated with a particular University (Issues of access to higher education, 2003).

The territorial barriers of inequality in education are: type of settlement (settlement), the distance from the residence to the school, accessible transportation, the number of schools within reach, the level of urbanization (Konstantinovsky, 2010).

Also as additional barriers, you can add “administrative” barriers related to the activities of educational institutions, such as the lack of alternative learning opportunities, tuition costs, requirements to level of preparation of applicants. Russian universities are differentiated by the levels of training. A number of universities in Russia are getting less and less budget places on the graduate level. The process of formation of the “educational pyramid”, in which are the universities that provide mostly bachelors. This raises the question about payment for education, which is not available to all segments of the population. Tutoring and courses at universities are also not able to pay for all the parents. And this function of higher education as a “lift” in the framework of social mobility is being increasingly questioned. Sometimes cited as a factor influencing the disparity in the admission process in universities, “corrupt officials”. Accompanied by process and not the most attractive trend of deformation and change in the system of preschool education, which determines the further development of the personality (Smolin, 2005).

Barriers of inequality in the matrimonial sphere of Russia

Matrimonial sphere of Russian society due to various transformational aspects. From the point of view of statistical indicator of the number of marriages per 1000 people of the population that commits the Federal service of state statistics of the Russian Federation in 2012-2013 signed by 8% of marriages less than in 2011. The gender ratio, according to the census of the population of the Russian Federation, 2010, there is an interesting tendency for the number of women who are married, 18% more number of married men. It should be borne in mind that in Russia according to all censuses, the number of married women exceeds the number of married men. This is partly explained by the fact that some couples even when living together and in the same household is a man considers himself to be idle (because the marriage is not registered), and the woman considers this relationship a civil marriage (Sinelnikov, 2010). According to surveys conducted by the Russian center for public opinion research, more than half of respondents believe that over the past 10-15 years, the Russians have become less likely to marry and to enter into marital unions (Pakhomova, 2008). Destructive trends in the development of marriage and family sphere in Russia and cause a manifestation of inequality.

Economic barriers of inequality in marriage associated with the financial situation of the marriage partners in the marriage business. Low level of incomes of the Russian population is the second leading cause of reduction in the number of concluded marriages (To marry for love, but the marriage contract, 2007). In Russian society through the media has developed two stereotypes: “to marry a tycoon” and “marry a millionaire”. The functioning of these stereotypes is confirmed by the Russian sociologist and demographer A. Sinelnikov: “now all dream of marrying a millionaire, and love called Russian fiction, in order not to pay money” (Chernov, 2004). Financial status of the mating partner focuses and international marriage market in which a particular activity is inherent in women of Russian society in search of a foreign marriage partner and which focuses on the impact of such appeals to a marriage with a foreigner as “a selection of European men is the choice of the high standard of living in Europe”, “marriage Agency is a rich foreign men” (Koludarova, 2012).

The marriage business is due to the development of the market of fictitious marriages. According to unofficial data, every fifth marriage in Russia fictitious. A business where the main service is the stamp in your passport, there is in almost every region of Russia. In particularly tricky cases, calculating the bride and groom require for the marriage certificate to…300 thousand dollars (Full Mendelssohn: a growing number of marriages, 2007). On the development of Russian market of marriages influence and migration processes. According to Deputy Chairman of the Duma Committee on family, women and children Alexander Bednov, “80% of foreigners who applied to the Federal Migration Service for the receipt of documents for temporary residence, submit the request on the basis of the marriage; and about 15% of them, most likely, entered into a fictitious marriage: this is indicated, for example, quite a big difference in the age of the spouses, asocial lifestyle of the Russians, various regions, where the couple live” (Berseneva, 2011). Therefore, a significant fact is the draft law, which should prevent the conclusion of marriages between Russians and foreigners.

Political barriers of inequality in marriage due to ideological representations of the power of marriage that is mainly expressed in terms of inter-ethnic marriage or marriages of Russians with foreigners. The Deputy Of The State Duma N. In. The Kuryanovich in 2005 was developed the draft Federal law № 190817-4 “On amendments to article 8 clause 1 of Federal law No. 62-FZ On Russian Federation citizenship”, which indicated the deprivation of Russian nationality in case of marriage with a foreigner (Veretennikova, 2005). In the explanatory note the author of the project explained that the prohibition of marriage of Russian citizens with citizens of foreign countries due to the demographic situation in Russia: marriages with foreigners is the loss of the Russian society of a significant body of the female population in childbearing age. Officially the project was rejected.

Socio-cultural barriers of inequality in marriage is caused by the difference in age and education of marriage partners. Age as a socio-cultural barrier of inequality in marriage due to the prevailing social traditions and stereotypes. Socio-cultural meaning of age-distance marriage partners is not defined as a universal constant, but as a variable, context-specific. According to experts, asymmetric by age or mixed-age marriage is considered the Union in which the differentiation of spouses age is 10 years or more (Eljutina and Biykova, 2012, p. 83). In marriage a modern manifestation of this barrier due to the transformation of the age patterns of marriage. In Russia the average age of brides is less than 25 years, which is low even in comparison with countries of Eastern and Central Europe. In Western countries, in the dynamic economies of South-East Asia and in Latin America increases the age of marriage. For example, in Sweden, the average age of the bride is 33 years in Hungary for over 28 years (Zakharov, 2013). In Russian society there are social and cultural norms that create a rule that the wife should be younger than her husband. This is a pretty common stereotype, and in the marriage relationship, a husband over in 53.2% of cases, and the wife is older only 19.7% of cases (Roshchina and Roshchin, 2006). While the age range of the wife is limited to the difference in 2-5 years and over 5 years and the age range of the difference in 2-5 years, 6-10 years and more than 11 years.

Education as a socio-cultural barrier of inequality is associated with a difference in level of education marital partners. The educational level of Russians affects happiness: among those having secondary education happy 74% and with higher education – 82% (Russian happiness, 2008). Also over the last few years there is a tendency, when the wife more educated husband: in 32.5% of cases, the marriage partners have equal levels of education, 38.2% of the higher education of the wife, 29.4% of cases the husband. This result is not surprising, since in Russian society, women have on average a higher level of education than men, and this gap in favour of women continues to increase (Roshchina and Roshchin, 2006). According to the American researchers, more than 60% of marriages is an unequal level of education marriages, with 35% of marriages the wife more educated husband (Schwartz and Han, 2014).

Territorial barriers of inequality in marriage are related to views about home as a place of residence. In the marriage of particular importance is the home designed as a primary space of the spouses. View of the house relate to its perception in Russian culture. In modern Russia there is a formation of a new type of everyday space, losing the traditional features of stability, certainty, orderliness. Large-scale cultural transformations associated with the problems of increasing urbanization and territorial type of mobility, result in a change of the perception of the person’s own home. The housing less categories described by domesticity, comfort (Volkova, 2012). The system of values of Russians indicator “most women want home and children” occupies a leading position (Magun and Fabrikant, 2014). The mismatch between women’s and men’s perceptions of the home is the basis of inequality.

The family as a social institution complements the existence of inequality. Study of models of family atmosphere (lovely, mixed, tense) in Russia and European countries showed that in all countries dominated by a pleasant family atmosphere: the attraction to the family and family well-being. However, in European countries, less conflict families, while in Russia the number of families with tense family atmosphere is almost two times more (Antonov  at al., 2010). This is due to the significant influence of gender on the assessment of the family environment in General, and inequality in the private sector.

Economic barriers of inequality in the family are associated with different representations of the spouses on the family budget, with material superiority of one spouse over the other. Planning a family budget is a significant factor in home Economics. Family budget affects the relationship of the spouses affects the socialization and communication of family members (Muravetsky and Strakhov, 2010)

Socio-cultural barriers of inequality in the family due to different spouses for life and professional career. Life is correlated with the domestic duties of the spouses. Inequalities in family life due to the uneven distribution of domestic responsibilities between spouses. Most responsibilities in the Russian family lies with the wife. First of all, this is a Laundry and Ironing service – 74%, cooking – 65%, house cleaning – 60%, washing the dishes is 57%, paying bills – 44%. Men, as a rule, is only one duty is to perform minor repairs around the house (Household chores: who does what in the Russian family, 2011).

From the point of view of professional career inequality of men and women is manifested in the growing career of his wife, as the ceiling career development of women is much lower. For example, if a managerial position is more of a level head of Department or group, and not the enterprise or institution (Kuzmina, 2011). While 72% of Russians consider that in a situation of choice between career and family woman should give priority to home and family, and work to overshadow (A woman’s Choice: career or family, 2014). In age and the professional plan is bucking the trend. Students (30%) and entrepreneurs (35%) defend the position that a woman needs to spend more time on career than family.


The Gini coefficient as an indicator of the degree of social stratification of society is associated with the difference of income of the richest to the poorest. Experts of RIA Rating studied of the differences of wages in different regions of Russia and revealed some interesting results. First, the undisputed leader in Russia by the minimum value of Gini coefficient is the Belgorod region. The Gini coefficient in this region is only 29%, indicating a high degree of social equality. For comparison, approximately the same result coefficient is observed in Belarus, in which the strongly manifested elements of the socialist economy, inherent in the former USSR. At the other extreme, i.e. at high values of the Gini coefficient, are for various reasons and simultaneously rich regions and relatively poor. Thus, the highest the Gini coefficient for wages is observed in the Republic of Tyva, the Republic of Dagestan, Moscow and the Chechen Republic. It should be clear that the observed data in regions of high inequality of wages by world standards is not too high. For comparison, about the same or even slightly higher Gini coefficient observed in the USA. Secondly, the study showed a large territorial unevenness of social development of Russia. . The difference in performance of the richest and the poorest regions of Russia is enormous. Leading regions by median salary is ready to offer the average worker salary in 50-53 thousand. In 10 regions, more than half of workers earn more than 30 thousand rubles per month.


Barriers of inequality in social institutions of Russia have different degrees of manifestation. This leading position is occupied by the economic barriers of inequality, due to the influence of the state in the context of administrative barriers, including bureaucracy and one-dimensional perception of social processes. For perspective development of the country requires a comprehensive approach to infrastructure development of all social institutions. Prospects of Russia’s development are directly dependent on the successful development of infrastructure of social institutions, so it is extremely important to eliminate any obstacles to their successful establishment (Sulagina, 2014). The process of inequality in education in modern Russia is influenced, first and foremost, social structure and stratification processes occurring in it. Stratification creates differentiation in education. State regulation in the sphere of education, it is necessary, especially in relation to socially vulnerable layers of the population. The process of inequality in marriage and family sphere of influence stereotypes of Russian society in terms of material status to marital partner, formed under the influence of the media and regional differences in the level of incomes of the Russian population, historically formed socio-cultural norms of perception of the age in General and the age of the bride (wife) in a private and highly motivated young women to education and implementation of professional career. Necessary state and public measures to reduce the barriers of inequality, because such social institutions as education and the family must be fundamental to the formation of civil society in Russia. Socialization processes also depend on other social institutions, but the most important for the development of a healthy society are the family and education.


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