The article is devoted to studying styles of consumption in the field of leisure, focusing on sporting clays which became popular among the Russian elite in the second half of 1990s. The study demonstrates that today people with medium and low income are also engaged in sporting clays. The question arises as to whether sporting clays stimulates social differentiation or social integration. The empirical data collected from participants of a sporting clays club describe the institutionalization process of sporting clays in modern Russia, show social and economic qualities of shooters, and present a typology of people engaged in this kind of shooting.
On the basis of in-depth case studies of four Russian regions, Kirov and Voronezh oblasts and Krasnoyarsk and Perm' krais, the trade-offs among social and economic policy at the regional level in Russia are examined. All four regional governments seek to develop entrepreneurship while preserving social welfare obligations and improving compensation in the public sector. Richer regions have a greater ability to reconcile social commitments with the promotion of business. Regions differ in their development strategies, some placing greater emphasis on indigenous business development and others seeking to attract federal or foreign investment. Governors have considerable discretion in choosing their strategy so long as they meet basic performance demands set by the federal government such as ensuring good results for the United Russia party. In all four regions, governments consult actively with local business associations whereas organized labor is weak. However, the absence of effective institutions to enforce commitments undertaken by government and its social partners undermines regional capacity to use social policy as a basis for long-term economic development.
This chapter addresses the relationship between class, family and social welfare policies by analysing the construction of the identity category of ‘unfortunate families’ in popular scientific discourses, governmental policy documents and discourses of social services, and by examining how those labelled as ‘unfortunate’ negotiate this identity conferred to them. The chapter shows that gender and class are closely intertwined in the production of this identity, as it is single mothers who are primarily categorized as ‘unfortunate’. In our analysis we draw on multiple sources of data. First, we analyse in-depth and focus group interviews with service providers and clients and participant observation data from a number of Russian cities. Second, we analyse various government documents and social advertisements, mass media materials, social policy and social work textbooks, and popular scientific texts published during the 1990s-2000s.
Using the cross-country ESS (2008) data file, the author explores welfare attitudes of population of European countries. The paper argues that expectations associated with the social policy and willingness to accept higher taxation in order to receive more benefits as well as the gap between these two depend on institutional characteristics of the countries. Poor institutions feed corruption and fiscal illusion, therefore generating misperceptions and free rider behavior.
In this chapter we aim to examine the discourses created and reproduced through the interaction between single mothers and representatives of social services. The analysis is based on twenty-six interviews with single mothers and six interviews with social workers conducted in 2001–2003, and six interviews with single mothers and three with social workers conducted in 2006 in the Saratov region in Russia, as well as official documents and the publications of other researchers. In our interviews with mothers, we focused on the issues of familial well-being and interactions with social services, while social workers were asked to discuss their experiences with clients. A short overview of statistics and social policy terminology prefaces a discussion of how mother-headed families and state social policy interrelate and affect each other. The subsequent sections contain analysis of the interviews with single mothers who, as the heads of low-income households, interact with the social service system. The analysis demonstrates that single mothers are frustrated by inadequate assistance and the impossibility of improving their life situations. The discussion goes on to show that social workers, who are used to interpreting complex issues in the life situations of single mothers as individual psychological peculiarities, tend to blame the victim, thus ignoring important social conditions and imposing on women a responsibility for problems that are societal in origin.
This paper represents a synthesis of few working papers of the author, published in various mostly foreign publications. In the paper the author examines social consequences and social prerequisites for specific role that Russian state and Russian audiences are playing in the media. In our opinion the situation in Russian media cannot to be perceived outside the context of social structure of the Russian society and the role of the state in this society.