Начало самостоятельной жизни россиянами: межпоколенческий аспект
Using two representative for Russia surveys (“Person, Family, Society” for research models building and “RLMS-HSE” for auxiliary, descriptive analysis), we analyzed the differences in the life courses of Russian men who served and did not serve in the army. For these two groups of men, we compared the ages and sequences of the most important starting events (separation from parental home, first job, obtaining an education of highest level, first cohabitation, first marriage, and first child). We constructed socio-demographic events for these men at the age of 15 and at the moment of the survey “Person, Family, Society).
Our results revealed that the ones who served in the military have more socio-economic and demographic events than those who avoided military service: men with military experience start adult life earlier and more intensively. The mechanism of the selection to the military services changed: since the 1990s, served men are mainly children of parents who did not get higher education and did not occupy senior positions in the period of their children socialization. After dismissal from military service, men often work and live separately, while avoided the army study and live with parents.
There is an opinion that today’s youth is not only in a hurry to became adults, but also refusing to obtain starting life course events that may limit freedom and that require commitment. To test this idea, we studied the ages of the onset of six major biographical events: completion of professional education, first employment, first separation from parents, first partnership (unregistered union), first marriage and birth of the first child.
We compared the behaviour of six generations of Russians born between 1930 and 1986. Our sample consisted of 5,451 people from the panel of the Russian part of the Generations and Gender Survey (2004, 2007 and 2011). We not only studied the median ages of the onset of events and presented them on the Lexis grid, but also estimated the chances of obtaining starting events using Cox regressions (event history analysis).
We found that there is no serious postponement of socioeconomic events: employment and separation from parents minimally changed their positions in the schedule of life of young generations. Completion of education has moved to a later age, but this is due to a significant increase in the number of graduates of vocational education of different levels. The age of entry into first partnership in young generations has fallen to a historic low, becoming the earliest of the demographic events. Two other demographic events – first marriage and first childbearing – indeed had been postponed by young people, especially men. Thus, our study revealed that young generations are not sabotaging transition to adulthood but they are becoming adults but according to their own life schedules and in their own time.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.