Suvi Salmenniemi, ed. Rethinking Class in Russia.
Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2012
Unlike scores of other books about postsocialist Russia’s social structure that simply report on growing disparities or shifting hierarchies, Rethinking Class in Russia makes a serious and quite successful attempt to chart a new direction. The contributors to this volume, culturally inclined social scientists from Finland, UK, and Russia, are not in the business of churning out “new data” on differences in income or consumption to give more “proof” that social differentiation and inequality exist in Russia today. They, and the volume’s editor Suvi Salmenniemi, seek to reconceptualize what class means in post-Soviet Russia but also in the wider contemporary world dominated by neoliberal ideology and, on this basis, to reevaluate social relations and hierarchies in terms of control and power—political, economic, moral, or symbolic.