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Article

Новые потребительские практики современных городских семей в сфере ухода за детьми и их развития

Вестник Института социологии. 2020. Т. 11. № 2. С. 174-193.

The aim of the study presented in this article is to determine the characteristics of Russian mothers seeking care and education services for their children. This work examines the transformation of the traditional family function of raising, socializing and educating children. Currently we are witnessing an increase in the number of parents who resort to paid family services. Therefore it is important to understand the evolution of this market segment, what defines consumers’ choice of services and which types of services are the most popular, while also assessing costumer satisfaction with the services they acquired. Analysis is conducted based on a series of semi-structured interviews with Russian women who have children of preschool or school age. Respondents included both working (be it on hire or self-employed) and unemployed women. Research was conducted within Nizhniy Novgorod city limits.

While conducting the interviews, it was discovered that the basic selection of paid services which parents acquire includes services offered by children’s development centers, paid additional lessons at kindergarten or school, sports clubs, dance, art and foreign language lessons; children’s parties – renting dedicated facilities, hiring clowns, purchasing thematic programs and holiday treats; hiring babysitters (either on a regular basis or on demand), psychologists and parenting coaches. The authors reached the conclusion that modern urban families tend to split their responsibility (delegate authority) for raising, caring for and educating their children with those who have expertise in this field. Consumption of services by urban families starts earlier and continues for a longer period of time – in line with their children maturing – there’s not too much diversity, but consumption does depend on such important motives as the desire to satisfy today’s requirements for raising and developing children, parents freeing up spare time for their own needs, taking care of the child’s future.