Vasiliy Anikin   1, Yulia Lezhnina   1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Income Stratification: Putting a Spotlight on the Boundaries

2018, vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 237–273 [issue contents]
The paper aims to deliver an extended review of both Russian and international studies that have contributed considerably to the income stratification discourse. The very importance of the given research is justified by the lack of systematic studies in the field of the one-dimensional stratification of the Russian society, although applied socio-economic research uses broadly one-dimensional classifications based on income. The given paper considers and systemizes the results of income groups classifications developed both within the absolute and relative approaches. At the present time, neither international nor Russian studies propose a conventional view on the boundaries between income groups while at the same time developing a model of income stratification applicable to industrially-advanced societies. The main reason is that researchers dealing with income scales are normally focused on specific social groups such as the poor, the middle class, the affluent, and the rich rather than the whole society and its structure. Furthermore, we have shown that sociological papers are more likely to support the relative approach, and particularly a median approach. Researchers have even reached a fragile consensus regarding some of the boundaries of this scale, that is, they seem to agree that the interval of 0,75–1,25 of median incomes allows for the determination of the economic middle class for industrially advanced societies. The majority of scholars are in agreement that incomes exceeding the 2 and below the 0,5 medians represent the boundaries that distinguish opposing social groups, that is, the top and bottom of a society, correspondingly. The present study has a multidisciplinary focus so that it might be of interest to sociologists, economists, demographers, and applied statisticians.
Citation: Anikin V., Lezhnina Y. (2018) Ekonomicheskaya stratifikatsiya: ob opredelenii granits dokhodnykh grupp [Income Stratification: Putting a Spotlight on the Boundaries]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 17, no 1, pp. 237-273 (in Russian)
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