Learning to Labour in Post-Soviet Russia: Vocational youth in transition, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Learning to Labour in Post-Soviet Russia

Vocational youth in transition, 1st Edition

By Charles Walker


248 pages

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This book explores the changing nature of growing-up working-class in post-Soviet Russia, a country dislocated by the experience of neo-liberal economic reform. Based on extensive ethnographic research in a provincial Russian region, it follows the experiences of vocational education graduates whose colleges continue to channel them into the ailing industrial and agricultural sectors. Rather than settling for transitions into ‘poor work’, the book shows how these young men and women develop a range of strategies aimed at overcoming the poverty of opportunity available to them in traditional enterprises, pursuing instead emerging opportunities in higher education, jobs in the new service sector and the prospect of migration. Drawing on a range of theoretical perspectives, Charles Walker analyses these strategies and their significance for wider processes of social change and social stratification in post-Soviet Russia.


"By carefully contextualising the empirical case study, both in relation to Soviet structures of education and employment and to a range of theoretical perspectives of youth transition in sociology, this book is of interest both to area studies specialists and sociologists." - Suvi Salmenniemi, Zhanna Chernova & Larisa Shpakovskaya (2013) - Europe-Asia Studies

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Youth transitions in theoretical perspective 3. Transitions in transition 4. Managing transitions: the IVET system in Ul’ianovsk Oblast’ 5. Virtual transitions: from ‘inheritance’ to individualization 6. ‘Learning to learn’: making and breaking educational transitions 7. Re-embedding transitions: social networks and role playing.

About the Author

Charles Walker is Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Southampton, and Honorary Research Associate at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London, UK.

About the Series

BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies

This series is published on behalf of BASEES (the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies). The series comprises original, high-quality, research-level work by both new and established scholars on all aspects of Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet and East European Studies in humanities and social science subjects.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General