Life expectancy patterns in Post-Communist countries, 1959-2009
In the 1960s and 1970s, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union experienced an unanticipated stagnation in the process of mortality reduction that was accelerating in the west. This was followed by even starker fluctuations and overall declines in life expectancy during the 1980s and 1990s. We identify statistically the extent to which, since the 1990s, the countries of the post-communist region have converged as a group towards other regional or cross-regional geopolitical blocks, or whether there are now multiple steady-states (‘convergence clubs’) emerging among these countries. We apply a complex convergence club methodology, including a recursive analysis, to data on 30 OECD countries (including 11 post-communist countries) drawn from the Human Mortality Database and spanning the period 1959–2010. We find that, rather than converging uniformly on western life expectancy levels, the post-communist countries have diverged into multiple clubs, with the lowest seemingly stuck in low-level equilibria, while the best performers (e.g. Czech Republic) show signs of catching-up with the leading OECD countries. As the post-communist period has progressed, the group of transition countries themselves has become more heterogeneous and it is noticeable that distinctive gender and age patterns have emerged. We are the first to employ an empirical convergence club methodology to help understand the complex long-run patterns of life expectancy within the post-communist region, one of very few papers to situate such an analysis in the context of the OECD countries, and one of relatively few to interpret the dynamics over the long-term.
The general aim of this thesis is to explore the gendered and classed nature of social work and social welfare in Russia to show how social policy can be a part of and reinforce marginalisation. The overall research question is in what ways class and gender are constructed in Russian social work practice and welfare rhetoric through Soviet legacies and contemporary challenges? In addition, which actors contribute to the constitution of social work values and how this value system affects the agency of the clients? This study focuses on contradictory ideologies that are shaped in discursive formations of social policy, social work training and practice. It is a qualitative study, containing fi ve papers looking at this issue from three different perspectives: policy and institutions, culture and discourse, actors and identity. The data collection was arranged as a purposive–iterative process. The empirical material consists of qualitative interviews with social work practitioners, administrators and clients, participant observations in social services and analysis of documents of various kinds.
The volume presents a new and unique view of welfare in Russia and Eastern European countries from an intersectional perspective of welfare, gender and agency. Since the collapse of socialism, the welfare structures of the post-socialist states have experienced large and rapid changes. The discussions on the reforming welfare models serve as the integrating theme for the volume. The authors discuss past and current developments and make comparisons in time and space between the early 1990s and late 2000s and between post-socialist and transitional countries. Welfare and political democratization are analyzed on the one hand as structures and processes and on the other hand as cultural meanings and through agency, which all are strongly gendered. Macro-level analyses and in-depth case studies by scholars from different countries and disciplines provide a wide and multilayered picture of welfare developments and gendered practices of social services, caregiving and civic activism, among others. Special attention is given to research methodologies, particularly on fieldwork and micro-level understanding of the related topics. The contributors come from social and political sciences and from both former socialist and 'Western' countries from Russia and Slovenia as well as the US, the UK, Germany and Finland.
Apart from the public sphere and the norms set by society, the private sphere plays an important role in the lives of the disabled, including the personal experience of disability at a micro level: in their families, everyday routines and romantic relationships. In this chapter, issues of family structure are considered using a narrative analysis of interviews with women who use wheelchairs. Various cultural, social, economic and political determinants effect the formation of certain types of family structure and attitudes towards family life. At the same time, they interrelate with biographical factors that reinforce or weaken the limits of freedom and private life. Using narrative analysis, I demonstrate what role family plays in constructing the identity of a person with a disability, and how family members act as coauthors of individual biographies. This can be seen in those dilemmas of family life associated with the feelings, sexuality and emotional stability at the micro-level of the life experience and identification of women with disabilities.
The paper deals with temporary employment in the Russian labour market. The main focus is the gender difference regarding determinants of temporary employment. Unlike most European countries, where women are more likely to have temporary work, in Russia men predominantly have this status, comparable to the situation in many developing countries. This paper seeks to understand why this is the case. The household survey of NOBUS (held in 2003 by State Statistical Centre with World Bank participation) is used to answer this question: the results suggest that gender differences in temporary employment do exist, and that the main factors that explain these differences are education, and marital status.
This chapter addresses the relationship between class, family and social welfare policies by analysing the construction of the identity category of ‘unfortunate families’ (neblagopoluchnye sem’i) 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 categorised 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 1990–2010s. This chapter begins with a review of Western theoretical discussions of class in the context of family and welfare in order to see how Russia fits into these debates. Western class analysis was considered irrelevant in the Soviet Union due to the supposedly classless nature of advanced socialism, but the transition to a market economy in the 1990s and the new kind of class society it engendered have made these discussions topical in Russia. In the second section of this chapter we offer a brief description of the main principles of the Soviet and post-Soviet welfare ideologies and the policies towards families. The following sections examine how popular scientific discourses, governmental policy documents and social advertisements, and social service providers construct class with the concept of the unfortunate family. The last section preceding the conclusions analyses how mothers labelled as unfortunate negotiate this stigmatised identity.
This article analyzes the main female character in a work of Ildiko von Kürthy "Mondscheintarif". The author defines the behavior of the heroine, who ruins the stereotypes of "correct" gender identity - the female archetype as homemaker , faithful wife , virtuous mother, and highlights the features of the real , the average woman - imperfect , but therefore even more attractive. The article commented the important sign of the new type of identity of the modern woman - the openness of female consciousness, ie prevalence of the demonstrated characteristics over her intrinsic characteristics. Author gives arguments for the need of deconstruction of the existing and reconstruction of new, alternative ideas about gender
Historical changes in the treatment of male and female speech behaviour are discussed. The phonetic research was aimed at describing gender specific features of American TV commentators' speech. A high level of prosodic means mastering was revealed, with no reference to gender.
Smoking is a problem, bringing signifi cant social and economic costs to Russiansociety. However, ratifi cation of the World health organization Framework conventionon tobacco control makes it possible to improve Russian legislation accordingto the international standards. So, I describe some measures that should be taken bythe Russian authorities in the nearest future, and I examine their effi ciency. By studyingthe international evidence I analyze the impact of the smoke-free areas, advertisementand sponsorship bans, tax increases, etc. on the prevalence of smoking, cigaretteconsumption and some other indicators. I also investigate the obstacles confrontingthe Russian authorities when they introduce new policy measures and the public attitudetowards these measures. I conclude that there is a number of easy-to-implementanti-smoking activities that need no fi nancial resources but only a political will.
One of the most important indicators of company's success is the increase of its value. The article investigates traditional methods of company's value assessment and the evidence that the application of these methods is incorrect in the new stage of economy. So it is necessary to create a new method of valuation based on the new main sources of company's success that is its intellectual capital.