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Regular version of the site

Article

Anatomy of a Stalled Revolution: Processes of Reproduction and Change in Russian Women’s Gender Ideologies

Gender & Society. 2018. No. 4. P. 441-468.
Ashwin S., Isupova O. G.

Russia’s gender revolution notoriously produced women’s economic empowerment without
domestic equality. Although the Soviet state vastly expanded women’s employment, this
had little impact on a starkly unequal gender division of domestic labor. Such “stalling”
is common, but in Russia its extent and persistence presents a puzzle, requiring us to
investigate linkages between macro-level factors and micro-level interactions regarding
the gender division of domestic labor. We do this by focusing on gender ideology, an
important variable explaining the gender division of domestic labor that bridges the
macro level of the gender order and the micro-interactional level. We use longitudinal
qualitative data to examine continuity and change in young Russian women’s gender ide-
ologies between 1999 and 2010. Based on an analysis of 115 in-depth interviews from 23
respondents, we identify traditional and egalitarian trajectories and the processes under-
lying them, showing how the male breadwinner schema and an ideology of women’s inde-
pendence support traditionalism, while non-traditional breadwinning and interactional
support from men facilitate egalitarianism. Our analysis enables us to explain the Soviet
gender paradox and distinguish sources of change in the post-Soviet era.