Economy//Society is an accessible introduction to the ways in which economic exchanges are embedded in social relationships. Bruce Carruthers and Sarah Babb tackle big issues and real problems with analytical power and lively ideas. They offer rich and novel insights into such topics as advertising, consumer behaviour, the diffusion of innovations, conflicts in the work place, social inequality and the economic development of nations.
Chapter 5: Economic Inequality
All over the world today, free markets are spreading, bringing new opportunities and new challenges to previously regulated economies. In Russia, once the cradle of world socialism, managers of formerly state-owned enterprises have been hard put to apply their skills to the much more rigorous environment of market competition in a global economy. As one Russian manager remarked,
The pace of change is beyond description and the only constant in our enterprise is continuous change Everyone is groping to solve problems and to acquire the skills necessary to compete as we move to privatize our industry…. Russians have a history of being able to adapt to difficult situations, but our move to a market-driven economy is a dire test. (Longenecker and Popovski 1994:35)