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Social mobility and career patterns of Estonian intellectuals in the Russian empire

Soziale Mobilität und Karrieremuster von Estlands Intellektuellen im russischen Kaiserreich
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Leppik, Lea

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Abstract 'In the success stories of Estonians across several generations we can speak about certain regularities. The career which moved the person out of the taxpayers' status could be started in governmental (often half-military) educational establishments and was related to civil or military service. The way from leaving the countryside for town and to become a white-collar employee would happen no sooner than within 2-3 generations. A large part of the first generation intellectuals in 19th century left for Russia. It was hard to assimilate into well-established structures of the local society, but the vast Russian empire offered various possibilities to ambitious young people. Estonians, once having accepted to act like Germans, could in Russia make a career as engineers of factories, doctors in chief of military hospitals, chemists, headmasters of schools, veterinarians, land surveyors, postal or railway clerks, Lutheran pastor in the vast spaces of Siberia. The mere size of the Russian empire guaranteed extended job opportunities. At the beginning of the 20th century emigrants tried to come back home and use the knowledge and skills obtained in Russia for the (Estonian) public weal. When Estonia became an independent state, 40.000 persons came back and they had a great impact in the building of Estonian professional elites.' (author's abstract)|
Keywords society; university; academic; post-socialist country; medicine; historical analysis; language; occupational mobility; military; revolution; Baltic States; USSR successor state; Estonia; occupation; elite; career; social mobility; population development; political elite; intellectual; social history; social background; Russia
Classification Occupational Research, Occupational Sociology; Social History, Historical Social Research
Method empirical; quantitative empirical; historical
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 42-62
Journal Historical Social Research, 33 (2008) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works