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SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Individual risk factors of the social exclusion of senior citizens in modern Russia: on the example of three Siberian regions

Noyanzina Oksana Evgen'evna

PhD in Sociology

Associate professor of the Department of Psychology of Communications and Psychotechnologies at Altai State University. 

656060, Russia, Altaiskii krai, g. Barnaul, ul. Shukshina, 12, of. 204

Other publications by this author

Maximova Svetlana Gennad'evna

Doctor of Sociology

Professor, Head of the Department of Psychology, Communication and Psychological Technologies, Altai State University

656045, Russia, Altaiskii krai, g. Barnaul, ul. Dimitrova, 66, of. 515

Other publications by this author

Omel'chenko Dar'ya Alekseevna

PhD in Sociology

Docent, the department of Psychology of Communications and Psychotechnologies, Altai State University

656049, Russia, Altai Krai, Barnaul, Dimitrova Street 66, office #515

Other publications by this author

Goncharova Natal'ya Petrovna

PhD in Sociology

Associate Professor, Department of Empiric Social and Confict Studies, Altai State University

656045, Russia, Altaiskii krai, g. Barnaul, ul. Dimitrova, 66, of. 515

Other publications by this author








Abstract: The subject of this article is the examination of risk factors of social exclusion of the older population in the Russian Federation based on the integral assessment of indexes of the components of social exclusion. The author suggest the model for assessing the factors of social exclusion of the elderly that is developed with consideration of the fact that social exclusion is a multidimensional phenomenon, which reflects the economic structural, and sociocultural aspects. The work puts forward and tests the specific indicators of assessment of the social exclusion of the elders that is based on estimation of the socio-economic (material) deprivation, deprivation of social rights (access to social institutions and services), deprivation of safety (safe environment), deprivation of social inclusion, cultural (normative) disintegration, and social autism. The authors highlight a number of the micro-level risk factors of exclusion, which a partially unmanageable, and partially manageable. The unmanageable (independent) risk factors of social exclusion imply: age (above 55 for women, and above 60 for men); solitary living; status (working/non-working pensioner); scale of pension; marital status; religion; ability to live independently; years of pensionable service; type of settlement (town/rural area). The manageable (dependent) risk factors imply: mobility; state of health; absence of privately-owned dwelling; low level of education; coping strategies; estimation of financial situation; lack of adaptation retirement. The assessment of social exclusion of the senior citizens in three regions of the Russian Federation (Altai Krai, Zabaykalsky Krai, and Kemerovo Oblast) was conducted using the results of sociological survey of 2016, with participation of 779 respondents in the age of 55 (female) and 60 (male). The main conclusion consists in the following statements: 1) being socially excluded does not imply experiencing deprivation in all aspects of exclusion, but rather its separate spheres; 2) disablement, restrictions in health and mobility definitely increase the risk of social exclusion; 3) each of the examined risk factors, by increasing the share of some components of social exclusion, inevitably decrease the share of others components of exclusion.


exclusion, social exclusion, risk of social exclusion , risk factors, index of social exclusion, deprivation, senior citizens, assessment, region, index


The number of older people in the world rises year by year. It is a positive tendency, since it represents increase of longevity, improvement of life quality and living conditions.

In recent decades, this process has become a global phenomenon and gained enormous scales. While in 1950 the number of aged population in the world was 205 million people, in 2000 it reached 600 million (three times more), by 2020 the number of people aged over 60 will have exceeded the number of children under 5, and, according to estimates, by 2020 it will have reached 2 billion people. 80 % of these older people will be living in low and middle income countries.

The social exclusion concept is not an innovative idea at all; it doesn’t describe any new reality, doesn’t propose any new approach to deprivation describing. The advantage of this concept is the focus on central aspects of deprivation as a multidimensional phenomenon and a part of social relations. The social exclusion concept helps substantiate deprivation analysis within the traditions of social sciences [1]. The notion “social exclusion” was introduced into scientific use by Rene Lenoir [2], who’d emphasized the fact that the category of socially excluded may contain not only the poorest people, but also people with disabilities, suiciders, older people, drug addicts, and so forth – almost 10% of the population of France. In the 1980s, during the period of economic crises, social welfare crises, and various social and political crises, the term gained popularity [3]. Exclusion was used for the explanation of various types of unfavorable social conditions caused by new social threats, such as unemployment, ghettoization, fundamental transformations of the institution of family [4], etc.

Initially social exclusion described deprivation of people with disabilities; at present, it is measured by indicators of risk and factors of protection, various political circumstances citizens have to overcome. The official “French” interpretation of this term describes social exclusion as a break of social bonds, and is based on the recognition of a limited solidarist nature of society. In a broad sense, social exclusion can be defined as “the process through which individuals or groups are wholly or partially excluded from full participation in the society within which they live” [3]. Social exclusion is opposed to the concept of “social integration”; it reflects the level of importance of being a part of a community, being “included”.

At that, the social exclusion concept contains two fundamental aspects. Firstly, social exclusion is a multidimensional phenomenon. For example, people can be excluded from households due to unemployment, salary scale, property, minimal consumption, education level, quality of life in the country, citizenship, and can be deprived of close contacts or respect.

However, the exclusion concept focuses on a multidimensional nature of deprivation; often people can be deprived of many “social bonds” simultaneously, i.e. exclusion (deprivation) can at the same time express itself in economic, social and political spheres. Secondly, social exclusion is about both certain interrelations between individuals and groups, and the processes, which have led to deprivation. Individuals can be excluded from different types of groups simultaneously. Exclusion exists at any level of society. As formation of groups is the fundamental feature of society, so is the process of exclusion of “others”.

Thus, the understanding of exclusion leads us beyond the mere description of deprivation and focuses on social relations, processes and institutions, which underlie exclusion and serve as its integral part.

The Anglo-Saxon tradition interprets social exclusion a bit differently. Firstly, the fact of “poverty” is considered independently from social exclusion, as its possible element. Secondly, social actors serve, first of all, as individuals capable of moving across the borders of social differentiation and economic division of labor. Violation of rights and market restrictions are considered as general causes of exclusion. Liberal models of citizenship emphasize exchange in rights and duties on a contractual basis. Within this paradigm, exclusion reflects discrimination and the existence of differences between groups restricting the comprehensive involvement of individuals in the process of exchange and interaction.

The third paradigm, described also by Silver [3], is the concept of “monopoly”. It derives from Weber’s works and is partly connected with liberal scientific traditions. However, unlike the liberal Locke’s concept, the monopoly concept emphasizes the presence of hierarchical power relations in society, influencing social order construction. In this respect, exclusion is a fruit of group monopoly. Powerful groups restrict the access of outsiders through the system of social restrictions. Inequality accentuates differences between groups, though it is socially smoothed by democratic ideas of individuals about citizenship and participation in the community.

From the position of this concept, exclusion is a theoretical notion describing individual’s view of the reality which is not truly real. Here exclusion doesn’t connote with such problems as the “new poor”, the “underclass”, the long-term unemployed or marginalized groups.

Certainly, this notion appears in the process of considering the abovementioned social phenomena in the context of social crises studying, but first of all, it accentuates just the perspective of the analysis of the society and social relations. Individuals can be – and actually they already are – excluded in some spheres (or dimensions) and included in others. Thus, Jackson, while criticizing the social exclusion concept, at the same time emphasized that women were not categorically excluded but already integrated in particular ways, through reproductive labor, for example [5]. Marginality can only produce the grounds for women’s protest and collective organization. At the same time, social exclusion doesn’t focus on “restricted” groups, but emphasizes social relations and processes, through which people become deprived.

Taking into account this theoretical model of exclusion, Silver recommends starting the analysis of social exclusion not with the study of the level of social integration in the society, but with the general idea about the importance of integration in the community and its dependence on local conditions [6]. Social exclusion analysis should take into account the fact that individuals can deliberately prefer exclusion, while some of them can be included against their will. In this context, exclusion can be considered as deprivation of rights: people’s access to food, professional training, employment, etc. is a priority, while their own decision whether to use the opportunities or not, is less important.

The Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen in his work about opportunities offers a similar view and emphasizes that it is important to consider not what the poor have, but the factors depriving them of the opportunity to have something. Opportunities are the requirement of full membership of the society. He believes it’s important not only to analyze the consumption of particular goods and services by the poor, but to focus on the rights or the choice of some or other type of goods, the use of various economic, political and social opportunities within the current legal system. Sen points at the obvious reasonability to the social exclusion concept to define the “proximate causes” of deprivation. According to his assessments, the social exclusion concept has potential in the interpretation of poverty as a possibility of deprivation [7].

Many authors note that these three approaches to the understanding of exclusion – the solidarity, monopoly, and specialization approaches – are appropriate only for republican democratic societies, while their applicability to other types of societies has never been tested [8].

Socially excluded individuals or groups have no opportunity to be involved in other forms of social activity. Factors, leading to social exclusion, are: poverty; subordination within the social identities system (race, ethnicity, religion, gender); social positions (refugees, migrants); demographical characteristics (education, professional qualification); state of health, disability or stigmatized diseases (HIV, AIDS). The social exclusion model, developed by the Social Exclusion Knowledge Network (SEKN) [9], represents it as a result of four interconnected factors (socio-cultural, economic and political) on different levels (individual, group, household, community, countries, and world). The model is based on relation to power; inclusion into the group of the excluded determines the collective action of interdependent economic, socio-cultural, and political factors.

Economic factors of exclusion include difficulties with employment, limited access to goods and means of living, such as incomes, accommodation, land, and working conditions. Social aspects of exclusion consist in the limited or lacking access to social, educational, legal and medical services in the result of social protection and social cohesion breach, for example breach of family or neighbor interactions. Cultural components of exclusion are connected with the subordination of particular norms, behavior, cultural practices and lifestyle, leading to exclusion of individuals from the group. Political elements of exclusion are connected with clamp down on civil rights, electoral activity, including limited access to organizations, legislation, and decision making process.

The scientific analysis of exclusion is usually based on this multidimensional model. The explicit connection between exclusion and rights allows considering discrimination based on gender, ethnical or religious peculiarities, health limitations, etc. [8].

The examples of studies in different parts of the world illustrate the diversity of forms the differences between socially excluded groups and categories can take. Thus, ethnicity, caste, and race are the most commonly registered examples of the group based exclusion, but their significance varies depending on the context. Religion is also the important aspect of differentiation; it has exclusionary nature in the particular socio-historical context. Categorical forms of social exclusion center around specific features of individuals suffering from discrimination. Certainly, these features vary depending on the context, but age, sex, migration, diseases or disabilities, and stigmatized professions are very often connected with exclusion.

This paper aims at the consideration of risk factors of social exclusion of older people in the Russian Federation on the base of integral estimation of social exclusion components’ indexes.

Materials and methods

Social exclusion of older people in three regions of the Russian Federation is estimated on the base of the sociological survey of 779 respondents aged over 55 for women and over 60 for men (2016, Kemerovo region, the Altai territory and the Zabaikalye territory). The study is supported by the grant of the Russian Fund for the Humanities No 15-03-00579 “Social exclusion of older people in contemporary Russia” (2015-2017). The estimation of risk factors of social exclusion takes into account the differences in retirement age: 55 years for women and 60 – for men. Consequently, the share of men was 28,5%, and the share of women – 71,5%. Among women, 30,7% of respondents were aged 55-57, 32% - 60-64, 21% - 65-69, 16, 3% - over 70. Among men, 55% were aged 60-64, 27,5% - 65-69, 15,8% - 70-74, and 1,8% - over 75. The Altai territory (33,6% of the total sample) represented almost equal shares of urban (53,1%) and rural (46,9%) respondents. In the Zabaikalye territory (33,0% of the total sample) the share of urban citizens is larger - 74,7% compared to 23,5% of rural ones. In Kemerovo region (33,4% of the total sample) the disproportion is more significant: 86,5% of townspeople and 13,5% of villagers.

Each of the theoretical provisions about social exclusion indexes is operationalized in terms of a questionnaire. The socio-structural component of exclusion, or the situation of exclusion, is described on the base of three components with their specific indexes of exclusion.

The first component, called “Socio-economic (material) deprivation”, is described via the following indexes: the lack of possibility to back up the spouse; the lack of possibility to back up children; the lack of possibility to back up parents; refusal of medical services; inaccessibility of physical training in sports clubs; financial unavailability of fee-based medical services; dissatisfaction with financial situation; the lack of possibility to get appropriate treatment; the lack of possibility to purchase medicaments as needed; the lack of possibility of employment; the lack of possibility to purchase high quality food products as needed; the lack of possibility to purchase high quality clothes/shoes as needed; the absence of movable and real property; limited possibility to travel/visit relatives; limited possibility to organize celebrations; unavailability of further education; unavailability of credits/loans; necessity to spare funds; impossibility to organize business; impossibility to back up children/relatives.

“Deprivation of social rights: access to social institutions and services”: age discrimination in employment; worldview discrimination in employment; ethnic discrimination in employment; economic discrimination in employment; family status discrimination in employment; inaccessibility of sport exercises in sports clubs; unavailability of fee-based medical services; unavailability of appropriate medical treatment; inaccessibility of cultural centers/institutions; inaccessibility of pharmacies; inaccessibility of medical institutions; inaccessibility of shops; inaccessibility of pedestrian crossings; inaccessibility of educational institutions; inaccessibility of care-giving institutions; inaccessibility of leisure institutions; inaccessibility of administrative institutions, inaccessibility of pension institutions; inaccessible courtyard facilities; lack of channels of communication with the government, its structures and Mass Media; lack of guaranteed minimal retirement pension; absence of indexation of pension payments; lack of social benefits; lack of targeted aid; unavailability of medical services, lack of free medical services; lack of services for lonely people and people with disabilities.

“Deprivation of safety: safe environment”: inadaptability to the conditions of modern life; disaffection with life; lack of family support; poor relations with parents; poor relations with children; poor relations with grandchildren; poor relations with a spouse; lack of contacts with neighbors; lack of contacts with colleagues; lack of moral support and psychological aid; absence of social demand for working older people; unjust dispensation of pensions; lack of safety in a crisis situation; lack of legally guaranteed protection of older people; unsystematic social protection; lack of social organizations; lack of the tradition of respectful attitude to older people; lack of demand for professional experience; breach of labor rights; social pessimism; unsatisfactory living conditions.

Social exclusion, or the state of exclusion, is also described by three components with a range of indicators. “Deprivation of social inclusion” is analyzed based on the assessment of the following indicators: lack of cognitive activity; refusal to participate in social and political events; absenteeism; lack of participation in social and political associations; refusal to participate in local self-government; refusal to hold elective posts; lack of communication channels with the government, its institutions and Mass Media; refusal of moral support of children; refusal of moral support of a spouse; refusal to participate in grandchildren’s life; conflicts in immediate circle; “emptiness” of everyday life/absence of everyday plans; self-dissatisfaction; lack of personal fulfilment; lack of possibility to translate social experience (educate grandchildren); lack of means of communication (including electronic ones); solitary living; negative attitude of society to older people; fear of loneliness; avoiding social contacts; inability to help relatives with household; lack of moral support from relatives; lack of help of relatives in household; attending cult institutions.

“Cultural/normative disintegration”: absenteeism; property selling; casual earnings; gambling; refusal of additional earnings; refusal of entrepreneurship; refusal of private plot activities; credits/loans; panhandling; refusal to develop household plots; refusal to change a job; refusal to search for earnings; debts/credits; attempts to avoid law; lack of adaptation to the market structure of the society; incapacity for education, gaining of knowledge; passivity at work; lack of religious beliefs; lack of adaptation to contemporary society.

“Social autism”: refusal of social contacts; refusal to participate in grandchildren’s life; lack of contacts with immediate circle (spouse, parents, children); lack of contacts with neighbors; lack of contacts with a social worker/doctor; lack of contacts with colleagues; rare social contacts (hobby partner); loneliness; absence of relatives beside; impossibility to extend social relations.

We measure each indicator on the base of self-evaluation of older people according to the measurement rates, formulated in the questionnaire. The maximum rate describes the maximum intensity of the component of exclusion: material deprivation (MD), deprivation of social rights (DA), deprivation of safe environment (Envr), deprivation of social participation (SP), cultural disintegration (CD) and social autism (SA). To define the intensity of each of the indicators, we transform the evaluation scales, ensuring the correspondence of the maximum rates with the maximum social exclusion of respondents. The total possible rate of MD was 81 (according to the results of summation min=32, max=75), DA – 156 (min=40, max=137), Envr – 157 (min=40, max=150), SP – 104 (min=43, max=77), CD – 66 (min=21, max=55), SA – 60 (min=15, max=55), corresponding to the maximum intensity of exclusion of each of the respondents.

After that, for the purpose of further comparative analysis, we transform the acquired total indexes of each of the components into ten-point scales with account for the established rules of rounding of fractions, i.e. the values from 0 to 0,49 were equaled to 0, the values from 0,5 to 1,49 – to 1, and so forth.

Based on the previously conducted research, we detect the range of micro-level factors of exclusion risk, some of them are represented by the uncontrollable (independent) risk factors, such as sex, age (for women – over 55, for men – over 60); solitary living; status (working/non-working); scale of pension; family status; religion; ability to live independently; years of pensionable service; settlement type (town/village). The controllable (dependent) risk factors include mobility; state of health; absence of fully owned accommodation; low education level; coping strategies; financial situation estimation; lack of adaptation upon retirement.

Thus, the proposed model of social exclusion risk factors assessment is based on the range of assumptions:

social exclusion is a multidimensional phenomenon reflecting both economical and structural, and socio-cultural aspects of life. In theoretical aspect, it is determined by socio-economic (material) deprivation, deprivation of social rights (access to social institutions and services), and deprivation of safety (safe environment), deprivation of social participation, cultural (normative) disintegration and social autism;

the mentioned components and indicators are typical for the group of older people, which is a priori a potentially at risk of social exclusion;

social exclusion as a state and as a situation can be measured only through the intensity of its components;

the model has one-sided effect, i.e. the intensity of one of indicators of the components of exclusion can lead to the increased intensity of social exclusion.

We use the IBM SPSS 23.0 and MS Excel instruments to analyze and visualize the results of the research.

Research results

To verify the hypothesis about the increased level of exclusion of older people depending on the range of individual factors, we’ll describe here some characteristics of the respondents, involved in the research in the Altai and Zabaikalye territories and Kemerovo region.

The incomes level can indicate the level of participation in the socio-economic sphere of the society, the limited access to particular goods and services, and the quality of life in general. The questionnaire contains the index of self-evaluation of the material wellbeing level based on the self-identification of the respondents with one of the categories: very poor (“I practically starve, I don’t have enough money even for food, I’m running out of money”); poor (“I have money only for frugal food and payment for utility services, I don’t have money for cloths and other things”); middle incomes (“I have money for food and not expensive clothes, must-haves, and payment for utility services, but I have to sock away for a long time to buy expensive things”); well provided for (“I have money savings and I can buy almost everything I need”); and rich (“I can live large, my money is always growing”). But such a division is subjective, so we’ve asked the respondents to specify the real scales of their pensions.

Since 2015, the accumulated portion has been excluded from the retirement pension; now it is a separate type of pensioners’ incomes. According to the new legislation, a pensioner’s income, apart from various benefits and social assistance, consists of two portions: non-contributory (insurance) and accumulated. The former is calculated based on the principle of insurance, i.e. during the working life, employers should make pension contributions for each of their employees. The amount of a contribution is proportional to a monthly salary. When the employee reaches the retirement age, he/she starts getting these payments from the Pension Fund as a monthly income. The condition for getting non-contributory pension is the minimal record of service. This year, it must be not less than 5 years, and next year it’ll be increased and reach 6 years. Thus, the minimal record of service will be growing gradually year-by-year until it reaches 15 years. Another mandatory condition is the retirement age: over 55 years for women and over 60 years for men. Pension contributions to the Pension Fund are made only if the person is officially employed.

The amount of insurance pension can be calculated according to the following scheme: the total sum of pension savings divided into the number of months of the expected period of the insurance pension payment plus the fixed rate. The basic (fixed) payment is established upon every indexation of pensions. To calculate the accumulated portion, the sum of pension savings should be divided into the number of the expected period of payments. If the sum of the accumulated portion doesn’t exceed 5% of the insurance portion, it can be paid all at once. Those who decide to obtain the accumulative component, can make pension contributions themselves.

In the Altai territory, the minimum subsistence level for all pensioners in 2016 was 8363 rubles; in Kemerovo region – 8059 rubles, and in the Zabaikalye territory – 8572 rubles, 88 kopecks.

So, we’ve defined the group of respondents, getting pension in the amount of the minimum subsistence level of a pensioner (with account of a possible difference in this number and possible rounding); the pension scale summed to 9 000 rubles. The next group was singled out on the base of the minimum subsistence level of able-bodied population in three regions, or, to be more precise, its average scale for three regions (in the Zabaikalye territory in 2016 and 2017 it is 11259 rubles per month, in the Altai territory – 9 572 rubles per month, in Kemerovo region – 9 608 rubles per month). As a comparison, the minimum subsistence level in Russia in 2016 (the second quarter of 2016) was: per capita – 9 956 rubles per month, for able-bodied population – 10 722 rubles per month, for pensioners – 8 138 rubles per month.

To define the next group, we’ve taken the average salary rates in these regions in 2016. The Russian Federation average salary was 36 200 rubles, in the Siberian federal district (which all three regions under study are the parts of) – 30 030 rubles, in the Altai territory – 20 900 rubles, in the Zabaikalye territory – 25 300 rubles, in Kemerovo region – 17 490 rubles [1].

So, more than one third of the respondents (35,4%) get pension lower than and equal to the minimum subsistence level of a pensioner. A market basket usually includes “the food products necessary for the preservation of human health life”, and non-food goods and services, established not in natural units, but in relative terms, i.e. as a percentage of food products’ cost. Non-food goods, as well as services, comprise 50% of food products’ cost. The food products set for able-bodied population, among other things, includes: 126,5 kg of grain products (including cereals, more than 100 kg of potatoes, 60 kg of fruit, 114,6 kg of vegetables, 58,6 kg of meat, and 18,5 kg of fish, 290 liters of milk products, and 210 eggs per year [2].

15,3% of the respondents get pension exceeding the minimum subsistence level of a pensioner, but not exceeding the minimum subsistence level of able-bodied population; the significant part of the respondents (38,3%) get pension of 11 001 – 21 000 rubles, i.e. higher than the minimum subsistence level of able-bodied population, but not higher than the average salary (with account for rounding) in regions – 21 000 rubles. And only a small part of the respondents (0,8%) get pension over the average rate in the three regions, but not higher than the average salary in the Siberian federal district. At that, the “poorest” respondents are recorded in Kemerovo region: 63,8% of the respondents get pension equal to the minimum subsistence level of a pensioner, and the largest number of “the richest”, getting the biggest registered pension, is recorded in the Zabaikalye territory: 49,8% of the respondents get pension of 11 001 – 21 000 rubles, and 1,2% - up to 30 000 rubles (Image 1).

Many respondents continue working upon retirement (37,9%), 25,2% of them work within their specialty, 12,7% - didn’t manage to find the job within their specialty, and most of them (61,6%) are non-working pensioners. Most of the respondents (74,6%) consider themselves as a middle-income group, 14,9% consider themselves to be poor, and 1,2% - very poor. Only 8,7% of the respondents consider themselves as well provided for, and 0,5% - as very rich.

Overcrowding, absence of private dwelling can also be the factors of exclusion. In this view, we have to notice that 0,9% live alone in rented accommodation, 2,2% - in rented accommodation together with relatives, 15,7% of the respondents live alone in their own flats, and 9,6% - in their own separate houses. More often, older people live together with their close family members or distant relatives in separate houses (33,3%) or flats (38,6%).

To define the risk factors of social exclusion, we’ll consider the groups of the respondents according to their education level and family and parental status. Education level of Russian pensioners is quite high: more than a quarter of them (26,2%) have one or two university degrees, more than one third (37,9%) got vocational high education, 21,5% got secondary general education, and 11,7% - initial vocational education. None of the respondents got education lower than secondary-level.

More than a half of the respondents (55,5%) are married, 6,3% live together with a partner without being married. In the context of the risk of exclusion, we have to pay attention at 2,5% of the respondents, who have never been married, 8,7% of divorced, and 27% of widows/widowers. Risks of this type are more typical for women, since they prevail in the group of divorced (9,9%) and widows (33,0%). 5,6% of the respondents are childless, most of the respondents (94,4%) have children.

In the context of the absence of inter-religious conflicts, stable ethno-confessional environment, multinational population with stable ancient traditions of living together with representatives of other nations, ethnic and religious cultures, and taking into account the data of public authorities, responsible for national policy [3], and the previous researches, confession can hardly be considered among social exclusion risk factors in the studied units of the Russian Federation. It is more reasonable to consider the lack of stable religious commitments as a factor, promoting social disintegration and weakening the ability to adapt to new living conditions upon retirement. 32,9% of the respondents have stable religious commitments, most of the respondents (48,8%) are “believers without religion”, 12,2% of the respondents don’t believe in God, and 5,9% consider themselves atheists.

State of heath is another social exclusion risk factor. Only 17,6% of the respondents think they have good health, 67,2% estimate their health as normal (not good, not bad), 11,8% say they have poor health, and 0,8% - very poor health.

More than a half of the respondents preserved mobility upon retirement (59,5%), more than a third notice sharp decrease of mobility (37,9%), 2,3% don’t leave their room, 0,3% have to keep their bed. 89,8% of the respondents are able to live independently, 9,2% - only partly, and 0,1% need constant care.

We’ll conclude the description of potential risk factors of social exclusion of the sampled older population of three regions of the Siberian federal district with the assessment of their adaptability to modern life conditions. Thus, more than a half of the respondents believe they have adapted to new conditions (59,9%), 18,5% of them consider themselves totally adapted, 41,4% rather adapted than not, 10,0% - rather not adapted, 2,1% believe they’ve not adapted at all. The category of not adapted more often consists of men; the older a man, the more he feels not adapted to modern life: 25% of men aged over 75 feel they’ve not adapted, 5,7% aged 70-74 (4,4% of women over 70), 11,4% of men aged 70-74 feel they rather haven’t adapted (16,5% of women over 70), 13,1% of men aged 65-69 and 9,4% of women, 8,2% of men aged 60-64 and 9,6% of women of the same age. Women aged 55-59 (23,4%) and men aged 65-69 (23,0%) feel themselves the most adapted to new conditions (see image 2).

To verify the hypothesis about the dependence of social exclusion on the set of social positions, socio-demographical and other characteristics of the respondents, we carry out the comparative analysis of intensity of social exclusion in different groups based on the analysis of average values of components of exclusion (Chart 1).

We have to notice that the chart doesn’t contain the results of comparison of average values of indexes, in which the variations between the sub-samples of the respondents are not significant. For example, the values of all the six indexes in the sub-samples of men and women are almost equal. At the same time, we outline the differences, conditioned by age, within both male and female groups.

In the group of women, who have been retired for five first years, and women aged over 70, the values of indexes of particular components of the situation of exclusion (material deprivation, deprivation of social rights, deprivation of safety) increase, while the values of indexes of other components of the situation of exclusion, conversely, decrease. We can suppose that retirement is connected, in the first place, with the threats to the adaptation of finances and lifestyle to new conditions in the context of sharp decrease of the number of social contacts and relations. Further, with the increase of period of living in retirement, loss of function, health and ability to work at old age, the risks of social exclusion increase, at the same time, the number of social contacts of women is estimated as sufficient or stable.

On the contrary, high rates of the values of material deprivation, deprivation of social rights and deprivation of safety gradually decrease since the moment of retirement, it means that men, apparently, can better adapt to their excluded condition and don’t consider it as a limiting factor in their social lives, and decrease their demands in social and economic spheres. At the same time, in all of the groups, deprivation of social participation, cultural disintegration and social autism are very intensive.

The higher the education level of a respondent is, the more intense the situation of social exclusion is in its components of material deprivation, deprivation of social rights and deprivation of social autism; at the same time, the high level of education decreases the risk of the condition of exclusion and decreases the indexes of deprivation of social participation, cultural/normative deprivation and social autism.

In the groups of pensioners with different family statuses the exclusion components have different intensity: the material deprivation level of widows/widowers and married or living together is higher; deprivation of social rights is the most intense in the group of people, who haven’t been married, and minimal – in the group of living together without being married; deprivation of safety (access) is also intense in the group of not married; exclusion of social participation is the most intense in the group of nor married and divorced; cultural disintegration – in the group of divorced; social autism – again in the group of those who haven’t been married.

It’s interesting that the situation of exclusion is worsened by having children, and the state - by not having children, though the social deprivation index of older people having children is higher.

The higher the pension scale is, the less the probability to get into the situation of exclusion is; at the same time, it doesn’t reduce social disintegration and social autism threats.

Belief in God is a factor protecting against social exclusion – stable atheistic commitments lead to the increase of almost all exclusion indexes; at the same time, belief in God doesn’t guarantee protection against the formation of cultural disintegration and social autism. In this context, the factor, reducing the level of exclusion, is the belief itself, without any particular confessional preferences.

The poorer the respondent considers him/herself, the more intense the deprivation of social rights and security becomes; at the same time, the richer he respondent feels, the higher the level of his material deprivation is. Probably, it is connected with the fact that the group of rich individuals take the risks to lose financial soundness harder because they know it is impossible to restore or maintain the habitual lifestyle. The respondents from the group of “rich” are in the situation of more intense social exclusion, and demonstrate high values of indexes of deprivation of social participation, cultural/normative deprivation, and social autism.

If a pensioner continues working upon retirement, he/she demonstrates lower values of indexes in all components of social exclusion, and if he/she has poor or very poor health, on the contrary, - high. Town dwellers have significantly more chances to find themselves in the situation of social exclusion and experience the deprivation of social participation, while village pensioners have higher indexes of social disintegration and social autism.

We have to emphasize how social exclusion values depend on the type of dwelling and solitary living or living with relatives. Respondents, living alone in rented dwelling, are not among the excluded at all. Material deprivation is the most intense in the case of those living together with relatives in a rented house or a flat; deprivation of social rights – in case of those living in their own accommodation together with relatives, deprivation of safety – those living together with relatives in a house or a rented flat, deprivation of social participation is almost equal in all subsampled of older people, and cultural disintegration and social autism – also in the groups of living together with relatives in their own houses or rented flats.

Regarding pensioners with different levels of mobility and ability to live independently, the less these abilities are, the more intense social exclusion with all its components is.

Chart one – Values of indexes of social exclusion components in risk groups, average rates. Maximum rates demonstrate maximum level of exclusion intensity; significant differences are in bold*.

Risk factor







Sex and age

F 55-59 years







F 60-64 years







F 65-69 years







F over 70







M 60-64 years







M 65-69 years







M 70-74 years







M over 75







Education level

secondary general







initial vocational







secondary vocational














higher vocational







Family status

have never been married







officially married







living together but not married





















Parental status

having children







not having children







Scale of pension

less than 9000 rubles







9001-11000 rubles







11001-21000 rubles







21001-30000 rubles







Attitude to religion

believe in God, have certain religious commitment







believe in God, but don’t have any religious commitments







don’t believe in God














Self-evaluation of financial status

very poor














middle income







well provided for














Inclusion in labor relations








not working







Settlement type















State of health

very good














normal (not good, not bad)














very poor







Dwelling density and type of accommodation

live with relatives in a separate house







live in own flat with relatives







live in rented flat with relatives







live alone in a separate house







Ability to work

compared to counterparts, very active







get tired quickly







feel tired even if do nothing







so tired, can’t do anything







Mobility assessment








Mobility has decreased sharply







don’t leave the room







confinement to bed







Ability to live independently

able to live independently














need constant care







* x2, p0,05


We can conclude that, firstly, being socially excluded doesn’t mean experiencing deprivation in all the dimensions of exclusion. One can be more or less excluded only in some aspects of social exclusion. Secondly, loss of physical abilities, poor health, and mobility limitations undoubtedly increase social exclusion risk. Thirdly, almost each of the considered risk factors, while increasing the intensity of some components of social exclusion, unavoidably decreases the intensity of other components.

Social exclusion risks are scaled up by the very fact of retirement, retirement age and reduction of physical parameters of life, single family status, low education level, living in highly urbanized territories, low financial status and feeling poor, deliberate atheism, living in a separate house together with immediate family members and distant relatives.

Retirement period is often characterized with such peculiarities as a large amount of free time, change of social status, physical activity reduction, and reduction of resistance to stress. Thus, a person becomes dependent on the family and the society in general. All the above mentioned facts actualize the necessity to study the factors, strengthening social exclusion of older people, in order to develop the mechanisms of their social adaptation to social life.


[1] Source: Average salary in 2016 in Russian regions and other countries. bs-life.ru.

[2] Web-site for people with disabilities “Door in world” (“Dver’ v mir”). http://doorinworld.ru/stati/899-prozhitochnyjminimum-v-2016-godu. (Visited: 05.11.2016).

[3] See, for example: http://www.altairegion22.ru/gov/administration/isp/kompart/gosudarstvennaya-natsionalnayapolitika/, http://www.kemerovo.ru/?page=3082, http://www.budgetrf.ru/Publications/Magazines/VestnikSF/2014/31_549/VSF_NEW _31_549.pdf.

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