Любовь и забота "заочно": молодые женщины в сетях поддержки заключенных
Love and care “on the distance”: young women in the networks of the prisoners’ support. In the focus of this article are young women, which meet imprisoned men via Internet or telephone, develop later distant relationship and get involved in the female networks of prisoners’ support. The academic interest to this category is coursed by the unusual choice of the partner in the situation when women have a wide range of other opportunities. In the article it will be explored not only the life stories of young women but also the specific of the current prison studies in Russia which are very much underdeveloped. The focus on the “distant wives” and their communication, the waiting regimes and care practices can contribute to the current debates on production of female identity in the conditions of the total transformation of everyday life. This problematic is underestimated and “invisible” both in gender studies, and also in more narrow studies of the specific practices of intimacy in the near/semi/criminal world. The paper is based on the empirical sociological research of the women networks of the prisoners’ support.
This article explores the phenomenon of the care provision which ‘distant wives’ and partners offer to their imprisoned intimate friends. Prisoners in Russia are one of the most marginalized groups and are at the periphery of social care system in crisis. It focuses on the young women, who, in the Russian context, are known as ‘zaochnitsy’. These women are part of a network centred on prison communication and become acquainted with men via the Internet or telephone. They become voluntarily involved with individual prisoners, in contrast to wives of men who married them before imprisonment. The article is based on qualitative data gathered during sociological research into women support networks for prisoners. The research framework covers the regimes of waiting and practices of care that are characteristics of the everyday lives of wives, mothers and girlfriends maintaining (continuous and temporary) communication with relatives or partners in Russian colonies. Based on the gender analyses of the care regimes, the article demonstrates that becoming prisoner's partner means for women the production of their own femininity, moral image and getting emotional and sometimes material care.
In 2015, Russia's judicial system saw a marked expansion in the repressive activity of the law enforcement bodies. For the first time in many years, there was a significant rise in the frequency of sentences involving imprisonment, while standards of proof in the Russian courts declined. The judiciary tried to compensate for its inability to resist pressure from the law enforcement bodies through the unprecedented application of amnesty in court verdicts. Sporadically declared amnesties have become almost the only thing protecting the Russian penal system from overcrowding.
Objective: to identify the diversity of cohesion forms in confi nement institutions. Methods: qualitative analyses based on in-depth semi-structured interviews. Results: the study included adaptation of Western methodologies of the cohesion phenomenon analysis to the Russian reality, and operationalization of the moral bases of group cohesion. This served as the bases for designing a guide for in-depth semi-structured interviews; 10 interviews were conducted with people recently released from general and strict regime colonies. Content analysis of the interviews revealed a number of structural sections that demonstrate the diversity of cohesion forms, alongside with one that is most meaningful to the prisoners and therefore the most well perceived and articulated by respondents. Analysis of the latter allowed to identify a set of groups showing different degree and nature of cohesion. By the degree of cohesion one can identify the poorly cohesive groups ("louts"), moderately cohesive ("reds", "thieves") and highly cohesive ("fi ghters"). By the nature of cohesion in the prisoners’ community, there are both groups united on the basis of social morality ("reds", "thieves") and groups demonstrating a high degree of cohesion based on the social justice morality ("fi ghters"). A detailed analysis of the latter group also showed that the cohesion can have both traits of morality, social justice, and features of social order moral. Scientifi c novelty: using the socio-psychological theory of the moral motives in determining the bases of cohesion. Practical signifi cance: the research results can be applied for the development of socio-psychological techniques for the penal system reform
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.