Migration is socio-demographic process that has been socially, economically, politically and culturally critical throughout the history of mankind. Migration has invariably remained one of the three fundamental mechanisms that, with reproduction, form population size and age structure, while also mantaining the demographic balance within certain territorialentities at diverse levels - from small rural settlements to megalapolises, countries and even continents.
The paper is based on materials from two projects carried out by the Center for Migration Studies (CMS, Moscow), which have been realized with support from the UN Women: “Opportunities and Problems of Social Integration of Labor Migrants from Central Asian Countries in Russia” (the sample size is 400 respondents; the query regions are Moscow and St. Petersburg) and “Migrant Women from CIS Coun tries in Russia” (the sample size is 1169 respondents; the query regions are Moscow and Moscow oblast, Samara oblast, St. Petersburg and Leningrad oblast, and Krasnodar krai). The materials of two focus groups with migrant women from Central Asia in Russia, which were organized in 2010, have also been used.
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.