Changing Dimensions of Social Inequality in Russia and Eastern Europe
A series of CEELBAS one-day seminars

Social Class and Social Inequality in Russia and Eastern Europe
May 30th 2008, Dahrendorf Room, St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford

The collapse of the socialist variant of modernity in Eastern Europe is 
one of a number of factors underpinning the wider demise of ‘class’ as a 
focus of political and academic attention. However, the concept of ‘class’ 
remains vital in understanding the nature of social inequality and 
patterns of social stratification, not least in those societies 
undergoing ‘transition’ from socialist to capitalist systems. The 
transformations taking place in post-Socialist societies have in some 
cases seen the emergence of extreme levels of income differentiation, and 
raise questions about processes of social mobility, the experience of 
class-based inequality, and the expression of class in the political 
realm. This one-day seminar, organised by the Centre for East European 
Language-Based Area Studies, brings together a range of speakers in order 
to address these and other questions relating to emerging patterns of 
class-based inequalities in post-Socialist Russia and Eastern Europe.

Topics to be addressed by the seminar include: 
•	Workers and the weakness of collective action
•	The experience of the post-Socialist working class
•	Subjective dimensions of social class and perceptions of social 
•	Prospects for and processes of social mobility
•	Class dimensions of social networks

Attendance at the seminar is free and open to all. However, please 
register your interest with the organiser of the seminar by emailing 
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For directions to the college and a map of the college grounds,  visit

Full Programme

11:00-12:40: Workers and the weakness of collective action (chair: Charles 
Alexandra Janovskaia (LSE): Metalworker Unions in post-Communist Central 
Europe: Enterprise Coalitions for Production
Maria Bytchkova (LSE): Tripartism in Russia: a Response to Trade Union 
1:20-3:00: Being working class in post-Socialism (chair: tbc)
Alison Stenning (University of Newcastle): Working Class Lives in post-
Socialist Europe
Charles Walker (University of Oxford): ‘Learning to Labour’ in post-Soviet 
Russia: Working-Class Routes to Adulthood
3:20-5:00: Emerging patterns and perceptions of class inequalities (chair: 
Christopher J. Gerry, SSEES)
Alexey Bessudnov (University of Oxford): Social Class and Income in post-
Soviet Russia
Stephen Whitefield and Matthew Loveless (University of Oxford): Being 
Unequal and Seeing Inequality: Economic Experience and Perceptions of 
Social Inequality in Central and Eastern Europe
5:30-7:00: Who benefits from networks? Class and Social Capital (chair: 
Charles Walker)
Anna-Maria Salmi (Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki):
Class Dimensions of Social Networks in Russia