In Russia, the study will be integrated with another study launched by the Higher School of Economics and also exploring family coping strategies under the pandemic.

The schools’ lockdown and forced transition to online-learning has revealed three interrelated dimensions of change we shall be addressing:

  • an enhancement of learners’ efforts in the context of technological and organisational change;

  • a redistribution of responsibility for learning (and learning outcomes) in the ‘family – formal schooling – learner – informal learning’ relations; an emergence of new structures meeting the needs of various actors;

  • a growth of inequality in terms of digital cultural capital.

In terms of understanding public health measures, we shall be introducing the dimension of family health and safety literacy and shall try to explore whether, under extreme circumstances, it should be treated as a dichotomy (assuming there is a threshold between literacy and illiteracy) or a continuum.

Our sample of 60 households have participated in a national longitudinal survey. They represent different socio-professional groups (non-routine/routine analytical/manual labour), from 5 Russian regions, with school children of different ages (primary, secondary; high school: academic and/vs professional track).

The study will include four main data sources:

  1. a phenomenological analysis of the dynamics of social structures and institutions (as experienced by those involved in learning), including in-depth interviews and mobile ethnography;

  2. an analysis of household time budgets, including mobile ethnography;

  3. an analysis of learning tasks offered by schools and how they are experienced by children;

  4. interviews with leaders of new/emerging institutions and structures.



Who We Are



Maria Dobryakova is Chief Expert at the Institute of Sociology, HSE. She has led and coordinated a number of international projects (2017-2020: Key Competencies and New Literacies by an international consortium led by HSE; 2017-2019: working group on Foundational Literacies in the OECD Education-2030 initiative). Her current research interests include curriculum studies and a balance of knowledge and competences, social structures of teaching and learning. She is the Principal investigator on the project


Elizaveta Sivak is director of the Center for Modern Childhood Research at Higher School of Economics. She studies modern parenting culture, childhood, and gender inequality. She is particularly interested in computational approaches to study gender inequality at a micro-level and children’s psychological well-being. Elizaveta has conducted research on intergenerational interaction and child care in the era of intensive parenting, and how parents' gender preference for sons manifests itself in social media.


Pavel S. Sorokin is Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Education, HSE. He joined the Institute of Education in 2016. His research encompasses renovating theoretical and methodological tools of the current international social science. Special interests include human capital theory and sociological understanding of agency.


Katerina N. Polivanova is Professor in Psychology and Academic Supervisor of the Centre for Contemporary Childhood Research, HSE. She is an expert in developmental psychology and psychology of learning, and is particularly interested in modern parenthood, phenomenology of modern childhood, adolescents’ peer interaction, and the psychology of age-related crises.


Dr Ivan Smirnov is Leading Research Fellow and Head of the Computational Social Science Lab at Higher School of Economics. He has been using big data and machine learning to understand complex social phenomena and human behavior. His research focuses on digital inequality and psychological well-being in the digital age.

Twitter @ibsmirnov