Date of birth : 17th of January 1961
Education : Moscow Institute of Steel and Alloys. Speciality – Physics of metals
Academic Degree : PhD (1987)
Academic Status: Professor of Department of Culture Pragmatics at State University Higher School of Economics
Academic Position: President of Research Foundation Culture Pragmatics, Head of the Department of Culture Pragmatics at State University Higher School of Economics.
Scholarly activities: supervisor of Foundation’s researches in Economics and Sociology of Culture.
Professor Alexander Auzan, D. Econ. Sci.
Head of the Department of Applied Institutional Economics, Economics Faculty, Lomonosov State University, Moscow, President of the Institute of the Social Contract National Project
Alexander Dolgin’s Economics of Symbolic Exchange is in reality not one but three books, and although these semantic layers are interlinked, the reader will need to choose between the different vectors and modalities.
One clearly evident dimension is research. Certain authors introduce quite new intellectual approaches into scientific debate. This requires a special frame of mind and a searching curiosity about social reality. Carl Gustav Jung identified a phenomenon which he called systematic blindness: when a science reaches a stage of maturity and equilibrium, it categorically refuses, from a sense of self-preservation, to note certain facts and phenomena which it finds inconvenient. In Alexander Dolgin’s book whole complexes of such “non-canonical” material are to be found. Here are just a few examples: file exchange networks, through which digital works of art are spread through the Internet; bargain sales of fashionable clothing; the paradox of equal pricing of cultural goods of varying quality; and a discussion of whether patronage or business has the more productive influence on creativity. Obviously, not all the issues Dolgin raises are totally new, but brought together and examined within an elegant logical framework of informational economics, they pose a challenge to scientific thinking.