Social institutions: an analysis of social changes in Belgorod oblast


Efendiev A.G.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Tenured Professor, Director of the Center for Research in Social Organization of Business, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia efendiev@hse.ru

Balabanova E.S.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Deputy Director of the Center for Research in Social Organization of Business, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia balabanova@hse.ru

Sorokin P.S.

Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Senior Lecturer, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia psorokin@hse.ru

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For citation:

Efendiev A.G., Balabanova E.S., Sorokin P.S. Social institutions: an analysis of social changes in Belgorod oblast. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 12. P. 62-68




Abstract

The paper provides theoretical analysis of social institutions as crucial for societies’ functioning arguing that there is a need for deeper understanding of how social institutions are placed among basic concepts that describe social interactions. One should also take additional steps to reveal conditions promoting efficiency of institutions as well as determining patterns of their development and change. Basic characteristics of institutions are also considered. Key elements of social institutions include 1) cultural norms that provide moral legitimacy for the “rules of the game”, and 2) formal enforcement mechanisms such as administrative and legal norms. Special focus is placed on institutional changes and interaction of cultural values and enforcement mechanisms in such processes. The principles of institutional approach were implemented in empirical studies conducted in rural areas of Belgorod oblast’ in 2000 and 2013. The authors conclude that enforcement mechanisms are key drivers for behavioral changes compared to values and cultural norms that are of secondary importance.


Keywords
social institutions; institutional changes; social interactions; social practices; Russian rural community; panel studies
Content No 12, 2016