Russians have higher social capital (measured by social ties), much less than other trust in official institutions and more willing to participate in informal transactions, according to the study “Social capital and the adaptation of the population to economic hardship” (.pdf) conducted by the Ranhigs at the end of 2016 in the framework of the “Eurobarometer in Russia”. Such citizens, in which the number of active social contacts exceeds 100, are facing corruption 40% more often than those who have a small number of social ties. As the number of active social contacts correlated with economic activity (e.g., entrepreneurship or a desire to engage in them), “most active in economic terms, members of society prefer to go “into the shadows” — choose the informal schemes to generate income and solve financial and economic problems, the authors conclude.
Among the respondents who have less social ties (less than ten) never experienced corruption is almost 64%, and among people with high social capital are unfamiliar with the corruption, only about 20% of survey.
Social capital is one of the most effective resources, which in Russia is usually kapitaliserede through informal channels, confirms the Director of the HSE Institute for social policy Lilia Ovcharova. “Institutional environment in Russia is very aggressive and makes good lifts of social mobility. The use of social capital is not restricted by any factors and gives the maximum return, so such behavior can be called rational. Moreover, neither the public nor their socio-cultural environment is not condemned,” — said the expert.
Confidence in public institutions in Russia reduced from the end of 2015, and the least trusted of the economically active population, noted sociologists Ranepa at the end of March, citing data from the “Eurobarometer in Russia”. Such people rely on themselves and on “the circle” do not count on the support of the state, pointed out experts.
Crisis Russians rallied
For society in General, social capital has become a key determinant of the willingness of the Russians to adapt to changes in the conditions of economic crisis. The authors of the project believe that in recent years there has been “microcreditare” companies in response to deteriorating economic conditions. Since the end of the pre-crisis 2013 the social capital of the Russian population (the average number of social ties) increased by 20%, says the Director of the Center for sociological research, Ranepa Viktor Vakhshtein. Among the ties are “strong” (number of friends) and “weak” (acquaintances).
Possessing high social capital citizens most often choose the line of the economically active behavior: in particular, more than 40% of them do not exclude the possibility of additional earnings, whereas among those who possess a minimal number of social ties, does not refuse to earn only 16%. Social connection is one of the most effective resources of finding the source of income, the authors of the study. So, thanks to the help of relatives, friends or acquaintances work were able to find 46% of respondents. In addition, socially active citizens in one and a half times more likely to consider the possibility to start your own business or already doing business.
A high level of social capital helps to solve the acute financial problems — such as loss of work. Here the key role played by the presence of “strong” ties, i.e. close confidential contacts, experts Ranepa.
A sample of the “Eurobarometer” is 6 thousand. The study includes ten regions, each of which polled 600 people.