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‘Choosing the Lesser of Evils’: Cultural narrative and career decision-making in post-Soviet Russia - 13 December 2021

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Building bridges between cultural sociology and social policy analysis, this lunchtime seminar examines career choice among Russian teenagers. Dr Elena Minina will deconstruct the dominant cultural narrative of a university degree as a ‘must-have at all cost’ and examine the various ways in which cultural master narrative informs decision-making logics, downplaying individual agency and reflexivity and ultimately limiting young people's career choice.

Drawing on the case of neoliberal reforms in post-Soviet Russian education more broadly, Elena will go on to theorise the interplay between cultural narratives and social policies/institutions. She will demonstrate how the cultural narrative hijacks institutional interpretations and usages away from neoliberal sensibilities towards Soviet path dependencies.


Dr Elena Minina is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellow with King's School of Education, Communication and Society. Elena has over 20 years of experience in academic research, research consultancy and education policy development across various cultural settings, including the UK, the US, Russia, Scandinavia, Sub-Saharan Africa and the post-Soviet space.

Elena holds a PhD in Comparative International Education from the University of Oxford. Prior to joining King’s, Elena was an Associate Professor with the Institute of Education, Higher School of Economics, Russia.

At this event

Elena Minina

Elena Minina

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow

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