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Where Do Time and all of the Money go? Consumer Strategies of Urban Youth in Modern Russia

Vol. 9, No 4, 2016

Elena Omelchenko,

 

National Research University

Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE),

St Petersburg, Russian Federation, omelchenkoe@mail.ru

 

WHERE DO TIME AND ALL OF THE MONEY GO? CONSUMER STRATEGIES OF URBAN YOUTHIN MODERN RUSSIA

Yulia Andreeva,

 

National Research University

Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE),

St Petersburg, Russian Federation, yulia.andre@gmail.com

 

Elvira Arif,

 

National Research University

Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE),

St Petersburg, Russian Federation,

elvira.arif@yandex.ru

 

Svyatoslav Polyakov,

 

National Research University

Higher School of Economics (NRU HSE),

St Petersburg, Russian Federation, wek.spb@gmail.com

 

Abstract.The article focuses on consumer strategies of Russian urban youth during a financial crisis aggravated by European and North American sanctions against Russia. Prices on natural resources (namely, the drop in global oil prices) as well as the sanctions imposed by the countries that do not support Russia's policy toward Ukraine have become major causes of the 2015 crisis. This article offers a brief outline of the academic debate on youth consumption with a focus on post– and subcultural, problematised and lifestyle-related lines of research. We touch upon such topics as informed and stimulated consumption actualised by the crisis. The analysis of urban youth consumption draws on the data of a research project; its empirical basis consists of sixty semi-structured interviews conducted with two generations of young people in St. Petersburg (20-25 and 30-35 years old) with different job tenure (no more than five years and about ten years) and from different fields of employment: the public sector (budget-funded organisations), the private sector (commercial companies) and self-employment (freelancers). Our particular attention to the changes in young people's financial and time budgeting practices stems from the hypothesis that they are the main manifestations of youth's first reactions to the crisis. The key questions of the analysis are as follows. How do young people with different work experience spend their time and money? Does the ongoing crisis establish new consumer behaviour patterns among urban youth in modern Russia?

 

 

Received: March, 2016

1st Revision: July, 2016

Accepted: October, 2016

 

DOI: 10.14254/2071-789X.2016/9-4/11

JEL Classification: Z13

Keywords: youth, consumption, employment, social and economicstratification, Russia.