Социально-экономическое развитие и состояние бюджетов регионов в 2017 г.
Although the process of development of Russia’s regions in 2017 (January-October) was less problem-ridden than in 2016, the economic stabilization did not bring about any positive social progress. The growth of the portion of regional budgets allocated to social expenditures conduced to a more noticeable increase in the funding of education and culture, but the growth of health care expenditures was extremely insignificant for the second year in a row. The volume of welfare benefits issued to the population in the field of social protection remained practically unchanged, although it should be said that more than 40% of the regions did optimize them. Over the period January-October 2017, Russia registered a 170 thousand decrease in the number of births as compared with the same period of the previous year. In November, Russia initiated the introduction of several new measures designed to boost its birth rate and to support families with children. The mortality rate from all causes of death continued slowly to decline. However, the rate of natural population decline rose to 115,000. Over the period January-September 2017, migratory increase was the lowest since 2010. Although for the time being this increase is sufficient to compensate for natural population decline, if the current trends continue, Russia’ population can start shrinking again. Temporary migration to Russia also continues to decline slowly. Most of the migrant workers come to Russia from the CIS countries, the vast majority of them being the natives of Central Asia.
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.