• The authors:
    Elena M. Kolesnikova
  • Issue: July 24-26th, 2019
  • Pages: 103-109
  • URL:
  • DOI:

Abstract. Despite the fact that in today’s society, the family ceases to be the
leading institute of the formation, preservation and transfer of professional
roles, it is still important resource for professional groups. The formation of
professional groups costs a lot for the state, the educational system and the
professional community. Professional dynasties can act as the informal
institution of a professional reproduction and has a beneficial effect on the
labor market in the long term. Anyway, are dynasties a serious personnel
reserve of professions and a resource for maintaining high standards of
corporate culture? The payback for professional dynasties is also important.
Does the accumulated social capital give some freedom to the employee in
the labor market?
In our research professional dynasty is treated as family project that allows
to talk about intergenerational professional loyalty, the situation when
children choose the same profession as their parents and/ or relatives of
previous generations. The research project included analysis of professional
dynasties as a resource for its members’ and for the entire professional
group. The object of study was the representatives of professional
engineering dynasties (N=7) and “non-dynastic” engineers (N=5). The study
was organized in December 2018 in 3 regions (Moscow, Samara,
Yekaterinburg). The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for
Humanities, project “Professional dynasties as a social mechanism of
reproduction of professional groups”, grant No. 18-011-01129.
Professional dynasties are holders of collective memory, ideas about the
past of the professional group and based on family members’ narratives.
Each member of the dynasty adds his own narratives, which belong to
different periods of history. Such stories are an important component of the
identity of the profession, a factor of its cohesion, and a significant
contribution of the dynasty, they are used to justify the social status of the
profession, for the correction of the formal version of profession’s history
that can be situationally controlled and adjusted by the state or other
external agents by highlighting some events and shade others. Professional
continuity in the family requires some certain informal family relations. For
DOI: 10.22363/09669-2019-103-109
many-generational professional dynasties is typical the presence at home (in
family) of a specialized library used by generations, of places for informal
communication and discussion of issues related to professional activities
(parlor, desk(s), garage). The interestto the profession can also be supported
by the parents’ choice of specialization in secondary or additional education,
by the possibility of visual observation of elements of the professional
practices (for example at parents’ work places).
The status of a professional group of engineers in Russia changed depending
on how high a position in society could provide a profession. In Soviet
times, the status of the engineer profession depended on very contradictory
trends. The “struggle against wrecking\sabotage” has become a way of
controlling the profession for a long time. The engineer profession in today’s
Russia is under pressure of the economic situation and this situation is the
result of the difficulties of modernization in industry, the big proportion of
inefficient enterprises, low-productivity and technologically backward jobs.
In today’s Russia we can name some professional organizations of
engineers and among their main tasks is the certification of engineering
personnel with inclusion of Russian engineers in global professional labor
market. Participation in international research projects, mobility of
professionals, cooperation with global engineering firms help Russian
engineers to be more independent. In this context, it is significant that
engineers who belong to engineering dynasties highly appreciate autonomy
in the profession, in particular such aspect as “the ability to make decisions
on their own in the workplace”.
Keywords: Sociology of professions, social mobility, engineer, professional

Elena M. Kolesnikova
Institute of Sociology of the Federal Center of Theoretical
and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Moscow, Russia, e-mail:
ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2174-2524

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