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Impact of transformation on living condition and health inequalities in the former USSR countries

Auswirkung der Transformation auf Lebensbedingungen und Gesundheitsungleichheit in den vormaligen UdSSR-Ländern
[conference paper]

Kutsenko, Olga

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Corporate Editor Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie (DGS)
Abstract "Disintegration of the USSR, formation of the new independent states onto the post-Soviet space became a significant event in contemporary history and human biographies. Majority of these states have begun market and democracy reforms, which pushed dramatic system transformation of their societies. It was expected, that reforms would provide the economy growth, increase of welfare and life chances of citizens unlimited by the centralized economy and authoritarian state. However already from the mid 1990th sharp social polarization (Gini coefficient was multiplied almost in 2 times, except for Belarus and Georgia), decline of life chances for most citizens, considerable reducing of life expectancy (above all things, capable of working men) showed up in these countries. The daily life of the people living in the former USSR has been transformed, with the certainties of everyday life being eroded as the bureaucratic redistributive order has taken on the guise of the market. In parallel, vertical social integration has been undermined alongside a significant increase in social inequalities; at the same time increase of social integration within strata has been showed up. What vectors of social inequalities are most strong? And what reasons of these phenomena are? In spite of the wide-spread opinion that age, gender and ethnicity are the independent factors of increasing of inequality; the author argues significant dependence of these factors on the objective class positions. Investigation of objective medium shows the expressly structured allocation of resources and life chances belonging to 'new' and 'old' social classes. On a base of survey data on Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and Kazakhstan, the paper concludes with some tentative projections concerning future social inequality development in these societies, in which relations of power, appropriation of property, social capital and high-quality education entail deep distinction in life chances of people. The author underlines that post-Soviet societies now mirror elements of traditional class societies with acquisition classes being not numerous, and in which a significant proportion of the population is social excluded. The paper is based on a data source of the EU-founded project on living conditions, lifestyle and health (LLH, with project leading by Ch. Haerpfer) as a multi-level survey conducted in 8 post-Soviet states during 2000-2002 years." (author's abstract)
Keywords Commonwealth of Independent States; USSR; USSR successor state; reform; democratization; market economy; Georgia; Belorussia; social inequality; life style; living conditions; class position; social integration; Russia; Ukraine; Kazakhstan; society; social change; social capital; health; post-socialist country; developing country; Middle East; Central Asia
Classification Macrosociology, Analysis of Whole Societies; Medical Sociology
Method empirical
Collection Title Soziale Ungleichheit, kulturelle Unterschiede: Verhandlungen des 32. Kongresses der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie in München. Teilbd. 1 und 2
Editor Rehberg, Karl-Siegbert
Conference 32. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie "Soziale Ungleichheit - kulturelle Unterschiede". München, 2004
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Publisher Campus Verl.
City Frankfurt am Main
Page/Pages p. 3292-3304
ISBN 3-593-37887-6
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications