“Human Resources” as a Category of Qualitative Sociology

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: professor
Affiliation: St.-Petersburg university
Address: St. Petersburg, Russia
Journal nameSotsiologicheskie issledovaniya
EditionIssue 3

The purpose of this article is to adapt the categories of human resources and capital in relation to the logic of qualitative sociology, which turns to existential everyday life. The starting point of the analysis in it is a person striving for his social self-realization in the context of available objective opportunities that have the form of chances: they can be used or missed in different ways. The situation of choice includes both an objective component and the subjectivity of the acting individual (conscious needs and interests, tastes, value orientations, moods, feelings, volitional characteristics, etc.). As a result, different individuals use the same human resources (chances) in different ways. The subject of the study shifts from the classic question "Who has what?" to the process of turning abstract possibilities into the reality of an individual social situation. Incorporated resources are a continuum, each element of which can become a reality as a result of choice (including imposed) and achievement: (1) abstract potential, the implementation of which depends on a variety of conditions; (2) consumer human resources; (3) labor force; (4) human capital as a resource that creates surplus value in the course of market turnover. In some cases, the resource is sold as labor, and the created surplus product is appropriated by the employer. In others, the individual acts as an entrepreneur, independently bringing his incorporated resources to the market and appropriating the resulting surplus value. Human resources represent only the chances of acquiring one or another real form. The metamorphoses of human resources occur to a significant extent in the context of the market situation. Its main elements are (1) individual potential, (2) availability of vacant jobs, (3) agency of a potential employee and employer, (4) definition of the market situation by its participants.

Keywordshuman capital, labor force, market situation, subjectivity, existential situation, qualitative sociology
AcknowledgmentThe article was written as a part of a study supported by a grant of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR) No. 19-29-07559.
Publication date07.04.2023
Number of characters26634
100 rub.
When subscribing to an article or issue, the user can download PDF, evaluate the publication or contact the author. Need to register.

Number of purchasers: 0, views: 246

Readers community rating: votes 0

1. Abramov R. (2022) On the pick-up of the algorithm, or the story of the day laborer of platform capitalism. Inter [Inter]. Vol. 14. No. 3: 35–54. (In Russ.).

2. Bauman Z. (2008) Fluid modernity. Trans. from Eng. by S.A. Komarov, ed. by Yu.V. Asochakov. St. Petersburg: Peter. (In Russ.)

3. Becker G.S. (1964). Human Capital. New York: Columbia University Press.

4. Becker G.S. Foreword (1972). In: T.W. Schultz. Human Resources. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.

5. Bottone G., Sena V. (2011) Human Capital: Theoretical and Empirical Insight. The American Journal of Economics and Sociology. Vol. 70. No. 2: 401–423.

6. Bourdieu P. Forms of capital (2005). Economic sociology. Vol. 3. No. 5: 60–74. URL: https://ecsoc.hse.ru/data/2011/12/08/1208205039/ecsoc_t3_n5.pdf (accessed 11.02.2023). (In Russ.)

7. Holzer H.J. (1996) What Employers Want: Job Prospects for Less Educated Workers. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

8. HR management practices at modern Russian enterprises. (2005) Ed. by V.I. Kabalina. Moscow: ISITO. (In Russ.)

9. Ilyin V.I. (2003). The phenomenon of the field: from a metaphor to a scientific category. Rubezh [Frontier]. Iss. 18: 29–49. (In Russ.)

10. Konstantinovsky D. L., Voznesenskaya E. D., Cherednichenko G. A. (2008) Internationalization of education and Russian youth: discoveries, achievements, effectiveness. Moscow: IS RAN. (In Russ.)

11. Kvale S. (2003) Research interview. Moscow: Smysl. (In Russ.)

12. Marx K. (1987) Capital. Critique of Political Economy. Vol. I. In.: Marx K., Engels F. Selected works. Vol. 7. Moscow: Polit. lit-ra. (In Russ.)

13. Mincer J. (1958) Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution. Journal of Political Economy. Vol. 66: 281–302.

14. Pinchuk O.V. (2022) "Guerrilla warfare" at the Late Soviet factory through the prism of dramatic sociology by Andrey Alekseev. Inter [Inter]. Vol. 14. No. 3: 78–97. (In Russ.)

15. Pinchuk O.V. (2021) Failures and breakdowns. Ethnographic work of factory workers: included observation at the workplace. Moscow: FPSI “Khamovniki”; Common Place. (In Russ.)

16. Popov D.S. (2020) Human capital in Russia: accuracy of measurement and limitations of the approach. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Research]. No. 11: 27–38. (In Russ.)

17. Poznyakov V.P. (2012) Entrepreneurship. Entsiklopediya gumanitarnykh nauk [Encyclopedia of the Humanities]. No. 3: 245–246. (In Russ.)

18. Radaev V.V. (2005) Economic Sociology. Moscow: GU-VSHE. (In Russ.)

19. Radaev V.V. (2003) The concept of capital, forms of capital and their conversion. Obshchestvennyye nauki i sovremennost' [Social sciences and modernity]. No. 2: 5–16. URL: http://ecsocman.edu.ru/ons (accessed 11.02.2023). (In Russ.)

20. Ross L., Nisbett R. (2000) Man and the situation. Moscow: Aspect Press (in Russ.)

21. Sartre J.-P. (1989) Existentialism is humanism. Twilight of the Gods. Comp. and the general ed. of A.A. Yakovlev. Moscow: Politizdat: 319–344. (In Russ.)

22. Sawyer D.O. (1978) Review Essay: Social Roles and Economic Firms: The Sociology of Human Capital. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 83. No. 5: 1259–1270.

23. Schtompka P. 2009. Everyday life is in the focus of attention. A new turn in sociology. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 8: 3–13. (In Russ.)

24. Shkaratan O.I., Bondarenko V.A., Krelberg Yu.M., Sergeev N.V. (2003) Social stratification and its reproduction in modern Russia. Moscow: GU-VSHE. (In Russ.)

25. Schultz T.W. (1961) Investment in human capital. American Economic Review. 51 (1): 1–17.

26. Schultz T.W. (1972) Нuman Resources. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research.

27. Sorensen A.B. (2000) Toward a Sounder Basis for Class Analysis. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 105. No 6 (May): 1523–1558.

28. Starovoitenko A.D. (2022) (De)subjectivation of employees in the warehouse space of the marketplace: digital dictation or industrial bazaar. Inter [Inter]. Vol. 14. No. 3: 55–77. (In Rus.)

29. Tikhonova N.E. (2006) Resource approach as a new theoretical paradigm in stratification studies. Ekonomicheskaya sociologiya [Economic Sociology]. Vol. 7. No. 3: 11-26. (In Russ.)

30. Thomas W.I., Thomas D.S. (1928) The Child in America: Behavior Problems and Programs. New York: A.A. Knopf.

31. Tomaskovic‐Devey D., Thomas M., Johnson K. (2005) Race and the Accumulation of Human Capital across the Career: A Theoretical Model and Fixed‐Effects Application. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 111. No. 1: 58–89.

32. Wilson F., Tienda M., Wu L. (1995) Race and Unemployment: Labor Market Experience of Black and White Men, 1978–1988. Work and Occupations. Vol. 22: 245–270.

Система Orphus