Jour Fixe: What occupation does not tell about: Status measurement in current Ukraine

Tuesday, 25. June 2024
13:30 - 15:00

Y 326 / hybrid


Yeliena Kovalska

Yeliena Kovalska (Associated Fellow / History and Sociology)


This study examines the adaptation of Warner’s Status Characteristics Index (WSCI) to assess social status in contemporary Ukrainian society, acknowledging deviations from traditional occupation-based metrics prevalent in Western contexts. In Ukraine and other Post-Soviet nations, social status is more intricately linked to material wealth than to occupation or education. A factorial survey experiment was conducted to test the relative importance of four dimensions for social status evaluations: occupation, income, area of residence, and housing conditions. The experiment was implemented as an online survey in 2023, conducted in the city of Kyiv. A total of 791 respondents rated 6,293 vignettes. The significance of four dimensions was assessed: occupation, income, area of residence, and housing conditions. The results indicated that income is the primary determinant of status, followed by housing conditions, with occupation and area of residence exerting lesser influence. Notably, the criteria for judging social status remain consistent across gender and socio-economic strata. This study contributes to establishing a standardized index for social status measurement in Ukraine, shedding light on the nuances of social stratification in post-Soviet societies. Furthermore, it discusses the inconsistency of status in Ukrainian society, which is attributed to the rapid transformation toward a market economy and the current war, which amplifies these tendencies.