Homeopathy within Russia Healthcare: the Challenges of Professionalisation
This article is based on the results of research into the professional status and professionalisation of homeopathy in Russia. The theoretical framework is based on the connection of concepts such as social closure, autonomy and professionalisation, which accords to the Anglo-Saxon tradition of studying professions. This framework helps analyze some of the parameters of professional homeopaths’ status, namely the economic, power-related and socio-cultural aspects. The examination is based on qualitative and quantitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews with homeopaths and a survey conducted by the author at the Annual Moscow Conference of Homeopathy as well as information gained in the course of the secondary data analysis. The survey was used, in part, to clarify and add to the questions that had arisen in the interviews. In order to define the level of individual autonomy among homeopaths we developed quantitative indicators. The data demonstrates that the economic status of Russian homeopathy specialists is relatively low, that professional associations play a limited role in the self-regulation of the group, and that the mechanisms of social closure are weak. All this hinders homeopaths’ professionalisation. Nonetheless, homeopaths find a sufficiently high level of individual autonomy as homeopathic practice is not strictly standardised. Today homeopaths as a group face the choice between two professionalisation strategies. One offers the standardisation of homeopathy, which will allow it to better integrate into conventional medicine but threatens ordinary homeopathy practices with a loss of autonomy. Another strategy proposes the rejection of standardisation and integration, instead focusing on the preservation of the unique identity and autonomy of the practice. The choice to move in one direction or the other is a dilemma for homeopaths as each option possesses its own advantages and restrictions.
In this issue we present a range of papers about current issues and developments in social work and welfare in Russia. In the Soviet era official state policy did not recognise the existence of social problems so social work was ‘not needed’ in the USSR, a situation which existed to varying degrees in other countries under state socialism (Iarskaia-Smirnova, 2013). The disciplines of sociology and psychology (which could form a basis for critical thinking and professional interventions) were eliminated from university curricula, except in forms which accorded with the dominant political view, and dissent was repressed. There have been major changes in political thinking, societal attitudes and welfare developments since perestroika started in 1985, and particularly since 1991 when the Soviet Union was dissolved, Russia then became open to relationships with western powers and capitalist economic thinking. However, Russia remains a considerable independent power with a distinct history and culture. In this editorial we give a brief overview of the historical and other contextual factors which are informing the particular nature and direction of current developments, some aspects of which are described in the articles.
This volume deals with one of the most understudied aspects of everyday life in Russian society. Its main heroes are the providers of goods and services to whom people turn for healthcare instead of official medical institutions. A wide range of agents is described—from network marketing companies to 'folk' journals on health as well as healers, complementary medicine specialists, and religious organizations. Krasheninnikova’s book is based on rich empirical observations and avoids both positive and critical assessment of the analyzed phenomena. Her investigation pays particular attention to the legal, social, and economic status of informal healthcare providers. She demonstrates that these agents tend to flourish in bigger towns rather than in small settlements, where public healthcare is lacking. The study reveals the important role of institutions that are generally not related to alternative medicine, such as pharmacies, libraries, and church shops. The result is a vivid and thorough introduction to the world of self-medication and alternative healing in contemporary Russia. A special emphasis was made on the flexibility of boundaries between formal and informal healthcare due to the evolution of rules and regulations.
The article explores occupational wage differentiation in connection with basic individual characteristics (gender, age, education, experience) of employees. The study is based on data from the large and unique cross-section wage survey which was conducted in 2005. The authors start with considering levels and composition of pay by major occupational groups and then they analyze relationships between pay and individual characteristics. At the next step, they estimate Mincerian type earnings regressions which include observed individual characteristics. The analysis confirms that at the Russian labour market there are large premiums to education and occupation.
This chapter outlines a range of the general and the unique features of the social work’s development in the post-socialist countries of Europe and Eurasia after the dissolution of the socialist bloc. The author describes the general trends and varieties in the development of social work as a profession. Short historic background provides the reader with general picture and peculiarities of welfare policy and social work formations during socialism and under the transition. The short cases of each of the 27 countries present information concerning the role of the state and nongovernmental organizations in service provision, education and training possibilities, status of social workers. The chapter is concluded by the outline of some general trends and variations in social work development throughout the region. The chapter is based on the study of the available literature and personal communications with social work experts. Following abbreviations are used throughout the text: FSU – Former Soviet Union, CEE – Central and Eastern Europe, EU – European Union, CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States, OSI – Open Society Institute.
Ein Weltatlas Soziale Arbeit weckt Assoziationen und Erwartungen an kartografische Überblicke (Spillmann 2007, S. 155ff.). Wer 2013 auf den Internetseiten von tagesschau.de herumsurft, findet ebenfalls einen Link mit dem Titel ‚Weltatlas‘. Dahinter verbirgt sich eine Weltkarte, in der sich beim Anklicken differenzierte Informationen über die Länder sowie politischen Ereignisse in den ausgewählten Regionen finden lassen. Hätten wir diesen Anspruch an den vorliegenden ‚Weltatlas Sozialer Arbeit‘, so wäre es ein unverschämtes Projekt; denn insgesamt liegt kein ausreichendes Wissen zur Sozialen Arbeit in den unterschiedlichen Regionen dieser „Welt“ vor, damit ein Buch diesem Anspruch – wörtlich genommen – auch nur in Ansätzen gerecht werden könnte. Die internationale und transnationale Forschung zur Sozialen Arbeit lässt entsprechend gar keine lexikalische Vermessung Sozialer Arbeit zu. Es würde immer nur ein blasses Abbild dieser Welt bleiben. Dennoch haben wir uns für diesen Titel entschieden und dies aus zweierlei Gründen: Zunächst sehen wir den Titel als Aufruf, sich stärker auch in der hiesigen Forschung mit internationalen und transnationalen Zugängen in der Sozialen Arbeit auseinanderzusetzen. Darum haben wir uns nicht gescheut, in der Mehrzahl Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler anzusprechen, die in der deutschsprachigen Forschung in den vergangenen Jahren zu ausgewählten Zugängen Sozialer Arbeit zu unterschiedlichen Regionen oder in transnationalen sowie internationalen Perspektiven geforscht haben. Wir haben aber auch den Begriff ‚Weltatlas‘ gewählt, um den Leserinnen und Lesern zu zeigen, wie und dass gegenwärtig in „unseren“ sozialpädagogischen Welten Zugänge der Sozialen Arbeit diskursiv zusammen mit Verortungen in unterschiedliche Weltregionen hergestellt werden und in der Sozialen Arbeit vielfältige Grenzarbeit (Schröer/Schweppe 2013) geleistet wird.
Social Work in a Global Context: Issues and Challenges offers diverse perspectives on social work in a globalized context. Chapters span countries where social work has recently emerged and those with a long-established professional tradition, adding to the richness of the discussion. These carefully chosen examples demonstrate the central premise of the volume―that social work is both a global profession and one that is heavily influenced by local context. The editors of this text on social work in an international context have brought together not only informative descriptive material from a number of countries and social work specialisms but also insightful analysis and reflections. These illustrate both the differences and the similarities in the practices and concepts of social work.
At the Joint World Conference on Social Work and Social Development in Hong Kong in 2010 a set of values was formulated that defined the mission of social work and the development of social policy. It is assumed that these key values, and in particular the principles of social justice and empowerment, are shared by social work and social policy practitioners, educators and experts. In the history of the profession there are many examples in which social workers sought, and successfully achieved, politically significant changes in the social order. However, there were also periods of a decline in activism and a decrease in the role of structural or political social work. This chapter presents the results of a study of the participation of Russian social workers in processes of structural changes. Interviews with social workers were conducted in several Russian regions. Case studies present mechanisms of changes evoked through counter-actions and compromises, individual activity or collective action, consolidation with social movements and other agents, through the implementation of new methods and forms of casework in the system of social services, or through the lobbying of legislative changes and the practice of institutionalised forms of conflict resolution in courts. Strategies for promoting social change, agents of change and institutional barriers are discussed in the theoretical context of professionalism as a value system and ideology.
A joint research project carried out by an interdisciplinary group of Russian and Swedish linguists, sociologists and educators-psychologists (the Swedish Institute grant), besides solving pragmatic tasks of finding out relative quantitative-qualitative specificity of national cognitive representations of values, first of all, had methodological goals. They were to check the efficiency of the linguistic methods developed in this study (and, thus, to prove the theoretical ideas that served the basis for it) of getting factual data that allow reconstructing and comparing of the corresponding areas of cognitive representations.
The results of cross-cultural research of implicit theories of innovativeness among students and teachers, representatives of three ethnocultural groups: Russians, the people of the North Caucasus (Chechens and Ingushs) and Tuvinians (N=804) are presented. Intergroup differences in implicit theories of innovativeness are revealed: the ‘individual’ theories of innovativeness prevail among Russians and among the students, the ‘social’ theories of innovativeness are more expressed among respondents from the North Caucasus, Tuva and among the teachers. Using the structural equations modeling the universal model of values impact on implicit theories of innovativeness and attitudes towards innovations is constructed. Values of the Openness to changes and individual theories of innovativeness promote the positive relation to innovations. Results of research have shown that implicit theories of innovativeness differ in different cultures, and values make different impact on the attitudes towards innovations and innovative experience in different cultures.