Competitive capital of employed youth. Theoretical and applied analysis

Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research


2019, Vol. 5. №2

Competitive capital of employed youth. Theoretical and applied analysis

For citation: Melnik V. V. 2019. “Competitive capital of employed youth. Theoretical and applied analysis”. Tyumen State University Herald. Social, Economic, and Law Research, vol. 5, no 2, pp. 39-57. DOI: 10.21684/2411-7897-2019-5-2-39-57

About the author:

Vladimir V. Melnik, Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Professor, Department of General and Economic Sociology, University of Tyumen; eLibrary AuthorID, ScopusID,


This article studies the comparative differences among working youth and self-evaluation of their competitiveness, as well as the embodiment of the latter in the symbolic and specific sectoral capital of the Tyumen region. The author observes the complexity of this phenomenon and the understanding of competition and competitiveness on the interdisciplinary level, which is based on N. I. Lapin’s anthroposocietal paradigm. While studying competitiveness, the author has revealed a cognitive dissonance in the statistical and the empirical measurements as well as in the analysis of social variables. At the essential level, within the framework of G. Hofstede’s “collective mental programming” and P. Bourdieu’s “field” theory, the following fundamental social aspects are revealed: the “capital” and the “motivational stimulus” of competitiveness. At the personal level, the author considers competitiveness as a cumulative process that started with a “non-zero amount”. At this point, the following factors determine the level of capital (with the ratios of the symbolic and specific): 1) genotype of society; 2) social space (starting with a national one); 3) mental program, dominating in the competitive field; and 4) motivational stimulus of choosing and adopting the type of decision to action (whether it is a struggle or cooperation). They all aim to obtain the normative symbolic and/or specific benefits that appear to be the goals in this field. This process requires a) a direct connection between the qualities of competitiveness as well as b) special properties of an individual with a specific field. Otherwise, there is no competitiveness, since the mechanical transfer of the logic of the capital accumulation from one field to another is ineffective. The empirical basis of the work includes the exploratory study of the working youth’s competitiveness, which was conducted in three cities of the Tyumen region — Tyumen, Tobolsk, and Ishim (including their countryside) — at 15 enterprises of six industries in May-June 2017. The research employed area, quota sampling (n=956). Five factors determined the representativeness: age, gender, education, form of enterprise ownership, and organization. The sampling error was 4.2%, which ensured high reliability of the data obtained. The survey was conducted in the workplace using an individual questionnaire. The revealed high level of self-evaluation of respondents’ competitiveness (92% answered positively) required index comparison of the implemented advantages of the available capital structure (both symbolic and specific) in the workplace, in the regional branches of the economy in order to develop recommendations for programs to develop competition in the region.


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