Russia’s Social Upper Class: From Ostentation to Culturedness

Schimpfossl, Elisabeth (2014). Russia’s Social Upper Class: From Ostentation to Culturedness. British Journal of Sociology, 65 (1), pp. 63-81.


This article discusses examples of strategies employed by representatives of Russia’s new social upper class to acquire social distinction. By the late 2000s many of the upper-class Russians included in this study distanced themselves from the conspicuous ostentation ascribed to the brutish 1990s. Instead, they strove to gain legitimacy for their social position by no longer aggressively displaying their wealth, but instead elaborating more refined and individualized tastes and manners and reviving a more cultured image and self-image. These changes found their expression in various modes of social distinction ranging from external signs, such as fashion and cars, to ostentation vicariously exercised through the people these upper-class Russians surrounded themselves with.

Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences
Additional Information: Copyright © 1999-2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Published Date: 2014
Authors: Schimpfossl, Elisabeth



Version: Accepted Version

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