David Konstantinovskiy1,2
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo St., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation

From Empirics through Interpretations to Understanding

2012. No. 4. P. 11–21 [issue contents]

David Konstantinovsky, D.Sc. in Sociology, Director of the Center for Sociology of Education, Science and Culture, Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russian Federation. Email: scan21@mail.ru
Address: Bld. 5, 24/35 Krzhizhanovskogo St., Moscow, 117218, Russian Federation.

This article makes an attempt to summarize results of studies on strategies and social behavior of youth in education. The author uses empirical data obtained in different projects over recent years.

Intentions of young people are predetermined by the social and professional status of parents and by the level of urbanization: school students have to adjust their life and education strategies to the existing inequality patterns. The same factors also influence educational trajectories of school graduates: the higher the social status and the urbanization level, the better the chances of entering a higher education institution. These trends are found in surveys of all years, from the early 1960s through the 2000s.

Accessibility of quality general education is investigated. As a result, Russian schools are divided into clusters which differ in qualified teachers, infrastructure and teaching quality. Each cluster mostly serves a specific social group. Obtaining a quality general education is associated with the main social barriers: sociocultural, geographical and economic. Differences in school education quality result in unequal chances on further (professional) education, thus reproducing social differentiation again and again. The Unified State Exam broadens the choice of higher education institutions but provides no solution to improve school education quality.

The conclusions are applied to other spheres of public life. It is suggested that an extended interpretation like that can provide additional insights into what is going on in society.

Citation: Konstantinovskiy D. (2012) Ot empiriki k smyslam, ot smyslov k osmysleniyu [From Empirics through Interpretations to Understanding ]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no4, pp. 11-21.