The paper presents a detailed analysis of the Russian official statistics for orphans and children placed out of parental care. Employing a wide range of data sources, the authors show that in Russia, the primary risk of orphanhood remains high. Although it has declined over the last 15 years, in 2015, the share of children taken out of parental care exceeds 2% of the total number of children under 18. At the same time, statistical data confirms the ongoing deinstitualisation of the Russian care system, a trend which has continued since the mid-2000s. Thus, 11.5% of children out of parental care were institutionalised in 2014, whereas in 2000 this share amounted to as much as 27%. However, the authors argue that the current childcare system reproduces a number of serious systemic problems. Firstly, despite the fact that over 80% of children entering the Russian care system per year have living parents, reuniting the children with the birth family is not yet recognised as a primary objective of the policy; according to the official statistics, only one out of ten children goes back home after being taken out of parental care. Secondly, for particular groups of children it is often hard to arrange family placements. Until now, higher risks of long-term institutionalisation are observed for children placed out of parental care at the age of three years or older, and particularly serious this problem is for teenagers, and also children with physical or mental disabilities. Thirdly, the prevalence and dynamics of number of children returned to institutions from foster placements highlight the importance of professional training for foster parents and need for consistent guidance for foster families, which are still underdeveloped in Russia. In the last section of the paper, authors discuss a possible outcome of this analysis for policies addressed to children left out of parental care.
This article examines the ways in which social support is provided to the young employees of companies in Russia. Through analysing the data of comparative monographic research, the purposes, priorities, tools and effects of corporate policy toward young people can be revealed. The authors arrived at the conclusion that the increased interest of the Russian business leadership toward their younger staff can be explained not only within the general context of modernization. It also is a response to the overall ageing of company personnel and the specific challenges of reproducing labour in the industrial sector of economy. The latter point can explain the selective character of corporate youth policy and its preference toward solving more pressing and current staff shortages. The most serious obstacles to the effective realization of young people’s potential in corporate social policy are weak communication and the lack of effective support mechanisms for innovation on the part of workers and specialists, which could create a link between innovation and the desire for professional and career growth.
Non-profit organizations deliver a wide range of meaningful resources to communities in such diverse areas as education, arts, culture, medicine, social service and others. However, as compared to the private sector, their funding potential is much more limited. Increasing social and economic impact of the non-profit sector is a reason why there is a need in persistent efforts to enhance these opportunities. State contracts have a good potential to be regarded as one of the most essential sources of funding for non-profit organizations in the social sphere. Recently passed laws ensure substantial benefits for socially oriented non-profit organizations when participating in public procurement. Nevertheless, despite existence of norms allowing socially oriented NPOs to get preferences in tenders, presence of the non-profit sector in Russian public procurement market is still insignificant. The study seeks to analyze peculiarities of Russian public procurement legislation. Another purpose of the study is to investigate barriers to functioning of Russian NPOs in the public procurement market. The major question of the study to be asked is the following: why did the state order fail to become one of the drivers for the development of the non-profit sector in Russia? First, we consider the functioning mechanisms of socially oriented NPOs in the public procurement market. Then, we analyze the results of the expert interview, which let us identify the following barriers limiting participation of NPOs in public procurement: economic, financial, social and organizational barrier. Finally, we make a conclusion that for the majority of non-profit organizations state order is an optional source of funding in view of the identified barriers, and make recommendations on attracting socially oriented NPOs in the field of public procurement. The study is relevant for the government and public authorities, since it can serve as a starting point for improving the mechanisms of attracting the non-profit sector in the sphere of public procurement.
The contribution of this article is to test alternative approaches to explaining variation in the generosity of welfare spending across states. We use panel data from 27 European Union member-states over the period 1990–2011. We rely on the experience of previous research papers and use social expenditure (% of GDP) as a measure of welfare generosity. We also use data on leftwing parties as a percentage of parliamentary seats for all governmental parties and the Quality of Government indicator, provided by the International Country Risk Guide. Regression analysis, including mixed-effects modelling, demonstrates that there is a positive relationship between institutional and welfare performance. However, an analysis of subsamples within the dataset shows that the effect of the quality of government on welfare generosity varies across states: the strong positive effect holds only for post-communist states. Our study verifies that power resource theory is losing its explanatory potential, while the role of institutional performance in explaining the generosity of the welfare state is increasing.
In this article, I examine emotion work among administrative social workers in Russia, an activity vital to the on-going emergence of their professional culture. This examination focuses on administrative social workers; a particular group of largely office-bound social workers within the profession whose central job is to help people process the required documents needed to receive social assistance and benefits. Firstly, the article offers an overview of existing research on the sociology of emotions and professions, with a special focus on those studies exploring emotion management. The conclusion emerging from this review is that analysing emotion work in the field of social care can lead to a deeper and more complete understanding of its specific character and the ethical rules operating within it. Secondly, an analysis of administrative social worker interview transcripts was conducted as part of a larger research project on the professional culture of this occupation. This analysis was completed with help of NVivo software and reveals that although interviewees are not only clearly aware of emotion work, they do all the same try to reduce emotional expenditure in their communication with clients and strive to standardise how they work with their emotions. Carrying out emotion work has a key function in supporting professional identity among administrative social workers and furthering the development of a professional culture. On the other hand, the emotional expenditures involved and the challenge of 'making the profession worth it' are alleviated by the sense that one’s work fulfils an important 'moral mission' in providing social care and assistance.
Current social structures can be described more effectively with reference to value orientations, consumer patterns and Internet use rather than classic demographics. This approach to social stratification results into the idea of social milieus more flexible than the picture provided by rigid class categorisations. Social milieus differ in many respects; we argue that they also differ in their media diets. In the 21st century, Russia is a fundamentally fragmented society with post-industrial, industrial, rural and migrant communities showing divergent relations to state social policies as well as varying patterns of public deliberation and consumption, including media use. Social fragmentation is, thus, mirrored in the fragmentation of the media systems; moreover, one more dimension, namely media hybridisation, intervenes and influences the formation of closed-up communicative milieus based on both social patterns and digital divide. Of the several societal milieus observed by social scientists in Russia, some are seriously under-represented in the media system; and deep differences in media consumption, agenda setting, and public deliberation exist between all of them. Recently, a major value-based societal cleavage was revealed during the 2011-2012 protest rallies within the "For fair elections/white-ribbon" movement. Our research in to the media consumption patterns of the participants shows a correlation between media usepatterns in the post-industrial urban "public counter-sphere" (consisting of the intelligentsia, the "creative class", students and other white-collar workers) and their perceived political freedom and self-reported online political behaviour. The research is expanded throughsearches for echo chambers and/or opinion crossroads in Russian Facebook vs. its Russian analogue Vkontakte. Results of an online survey with participants of the protest rallies (N=652), 11 in-depth interviews and 5 expert interviews were used to interpret the relations between self-reported media consumption dynamics and perceived political behaviour. The results show that the media diet of protest participants indicates a strong preference for several media clusters, especially social media, oppositional, and alternative-agenda media, while the consumption of traditional media and video is either plummeting or irrelevant. Facebook is flagged up as an echo chamber facilitating the protests.
This article is based on the results of research into the professional status and professionalisation of homeopathy in Russia. The theoretical framework is based on the connection of concepts such as social closure, autonomy and professionalisation, which accords to the Anglo-Saxon tradition of studying professions. This framework helps analyze some of the parameters of professional homeopaths’ status, namely the economic, power-related and socio-cultural aspects. The examination is based on qualitative and quantitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews with homeopaths and a survey conducted by the author at the Annual Moscow Conference of Homeopathy as well as information gained in the course of the secondary data analysis. The survey was used, in part, to clarify and add to the questions that had arisen in the interviews. In order to define the level of individual autonomy among homeopaths we developed quantitative indicators. The data demonstrates that the economic status of Russian homeopathy specialists is relatively low, that professional associations play a limited role in the self-regulation of the group, and that the mechanisms of social closure are weak. All this hinders homeopaths’ professionalisation. Nonetheless, homeopaths find a sufficiently high level of individual autonomy as homeopathic practice is not strictly standardised. Today homeopaths as a group face the choice between two professionalisation strategies. One offers the standardisation of homeopathy, which will allow it to better integrate into conventional medicine but threatens ordinary homeopathy practices with a loss of autonomy. Another strategy proposes the rejection of standardisation and integration, instead focusing on the preservation of the unique identity and autonomy of the practice. The choice to move in one direction or the other is a dilemma for homeopaths as each option possesses its own advantages and restrictions.
This article studies the causal factors behind the major overhaul of Russia’sThis article studies the causal factors behind the major overhaul of Russia’sThis article studies the causal factors behind the major overhaul of Russia’s
system for children in substitute care that has been taking place since the
late 2000’s. A series of reforms have promoted fostering and family-like care in contrast to the large residential homes used in the Soviet period and 1990’s. We highlight the fundamental change in the 'ideal of care' represented by the move to 'deinstitutionalise' the care system by promoting domestic adoptions, increasing the number of foster families, creating early support services for families as well as restructuring remaining residential institutions into smaller, home-like environments. These are all key elements of the global deinstitutionalisation trend that is taking place around the globe. We look at the evolution of the related policies and ask why this policy shift happened during the 2010’s even though the issue of reform had partially been on the Russian policy agenda for some time. Building on an explanatory approach to family policy changes by Magritta Mäztke and Ilona Ostner, which incorporates material and ideational driving forces, we explain that the 'political will from above' behind these major reforms was shaped by a range of other societal and political factors. Multiple factors drove Russian political actors to adopt new ideas about care for children left without parental care. For instance, the increasing conservative turn in policies towards children and families, which are driven by the severe demographic decline in the country, work alongside the influence of international norms around children’s rights and changing socio-economic circumstances. In the 1990’s Russian NGOs had considerable input into the reforms as 'epistemic communities' in policy formation thanks to the high level of expertise that they developed in international networks and the increasing number of cross-sector consultative platforms at governmental bodies in contemporary Russia. We conclude that ideational factors were necessary preconditions for the reforms, but that political forces were ultimately the key driving force. The recentralisation of power and prioritisation of social policy under President Putin allowed new ideas to gain concrete policy realisation.
system for children in substitute care that has been taking place since the late 2000’s. A series of reforms have promoted fostering and family-like care in contrast to the large residential homes used in the Soviet period and 1990’s. We highlight the fundamental change in the 'ideal of care' represented by the move to 'deinstitutionalise' the care system by promoting domestic adop
- tions, increasing the number of foster families, creating early support services for families as well as restructuring remaining residential institutions into smaller, home-like environments. These are all key elements of the global deinstitutionalisation trend that is taking place around the globe. We look at the evolution of the related policies and ask why this policy shift happened during the 2010’s even though the issue of reform had partially been on the Russian policy agenda for some time. Building on an explanatory approach to family policy changes by Magritta Mäztke and Ilona Ostner, which in - corporates material and ideational driving forces, we explain that the 'political will from above' behind these major reforms was shaped by a range of other societal and political factors. Multiple factors drove Russian political actors to adopt new ideas about care for children left without parental care. Fo system for children in substitute care that has been taking place since the late 2000’s. A series of reforms have promoted fostering and family-like care in contrast to the large residential homes used in the Soviet period and 1990’s. We highlight the fundamental change in the 'ideal of care' represented by the move to 'deinstitutionalise' the care system by promoting domestic adop - tions, increasing the number of foster families, creating early support services for families as well as restructuring remaining residential institutions into smaller, home-like environments. These are all key elements of the global deinstitutionalisation trend that is taking place around the globe. We look at the evolution of the related policies and ask why this policy shift happened during the 2010’s even though the issue of reform had partially been on the Russian policy agenda for some time. Building on an explanatory approach to family policy changes by Magritta Mäztke and Ilona Ostner, which in - corporates material and ideational driving forces, we explain that the 'political will from above' behind these major reforms was shaped by a range of other societal and political factors. Multiple factors drove Russian political actors to adopt new ideas about care for children left without parental care. Fo
Drawing on the criminal investigation materials from the Central State Archive of St. Petersburg (TsGA SPb), this paper argues that in the volatile setting of the early Soviet courtroom ‘female criminality’ was not a clear-cut concept, but rather a malleable product of intense negotiations that involved all legal actors and centered around the contested notions of female subjectivity, socialist ideology, and the material conditions of living. By viewing ‘female criminality’ as a product of open-ended negotiations and by re-emphasizing the material conditions of revolutionary Petrograd, the article provides a new perspective on gender, crime and the administration of justice in that turbulent period.
Prior research has indicated severe discrepancies in the levels of subjective well-being between people with and without disabilities. Given the Russian Government ratified the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and thus committed itself to ensuring equal opportunities for citizens with disabilities, it is important to understand how those discrepancies can be explained and addressed. This study seeks to test whether it is the disability itself that hinders subjective well-being of disabled persons in Russia, or rather the social and economic consequences of ableist inequity, as the social model of disability would suggest. For this purpose, a series of multiple regression models was designed using data from the Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS-HSE) which included the following blocks of independent variables: disability status, demographic background (gender, age, level of education, and marital status), economic position (relative in-come, purchasing power, and workforce participation) and social exclusion (loneliness, respect, and online networking). The findings indicate that the differences in subjective well-being are fully absorbed by social exclusion and financial situation rather than disability status. Thus, it can be argued that more attention should be paid by Russian policymakers to the promotion of social inclusion, combating stigma and raising public awareness on the topic, as well as employment strategies for people with disabilities that could provide them with an opportunity to improve their financial position, which should replace charitable interventions.
This article analyses media representations of LGBT social movements, taking the case of Saint Petersburg LGBT pride parades. The analysis is developed through the use of framing theory, which views the media as an arena where interest groups promote their own interpretations of particular issues. Frames juxtapose elements of the text in such a way as to provide the audience with a scheme within which to perceive the message. Social movements are viewed as interest groups that introduce new frames in public debate. Two types of frames can be distinguished: collective action frames and status quo frames. In this study, the usage of two collective action frames (equality frame and victim frame), and two status quo frames (morality frame and propaganda promoting homosexuality frame) were examined. Additionally, the sources of quotes used in news stories were analyzed. The study focuses on articles dedicated to Saint Petersburg LGBT pride marches in the years 2010–2017 in the most popular local Internet websites. The analysis shows that the coverage of LGBT pride marches can be divided into two distinct periods: 2010–2013 and 2014–2017. In the first period, LGBT activists dominated the coverage, quoted about twice as much as government officials. Equality and victim frames were prevalent. In the second period, activists were cited significantly less often, with the propaganda promoting homosexuality frame dominating the discourse. However, contrary to findings of previous studies on social movement representation, across the whole period under consideration, LGBT activists were quoted more often than government representatives. This finding calls for a further exploration of the conditions which allowed for such coverage in the context of political heterosexism and homophobia.
This paper focuses on the social relationships of West African migrants living in Moscow. It investigates the factors to which West African migrants are exposed that promote or limit their social involvement in the new environment in which they find themselves. Although the African community in Russia is rather small, it is gradually increasing. It is, therefore, the aim of this research to examine the effect of the host environment on their perception of the society and how they try to blend in, or not, with social activities there. The article is based on qualitative methods, namely eleven interviews and participant observation of West African migrants. This research revolves around themes such as their communicative language skills, formation of networks among the host community, and sociability. Findings from the research show that West African migrants in Moscow have been attached to their ethnic landscapes, which has limited their sociability in their host society. Since sociability is not mono-directional, the state needs to do more to create both public awareness of the need to recognize and accept the presence of other races and also to create regulations that will guide the smooth integration of migrants in the country.
The article analyzes legal approaches to the concept of traditional values in Russia. Using policy papers, laws and sub-normative documents, the article focuses on how traditional values are constructed by legal instruments. It is argued that the introduction of traditional values as a concept signifies a search for identity strategies in various spheres, making private life and the family a testing ground for experiments in changing the contemporary value system of Russians. The article concludes that the rather blunt imposition of traditional values has failed due to divisions within the political elite and the overall strength of more modern attitudes to the family and social policy among the Russian population. The article argues that current policies follow the paths of traditional modernism comparable with early modern projects to construct a nation state based on resource economy.
The aim of this article is to analyze strategies of combining motherhood and employment. For this purpose the notion of work-family balance will be conceptualized. The author suggests that strategies of mixed professional and family duties is being constructed at the level of household and depends on available personal and family resources as well as individual choices of working adults. Because contemporary Russian family policy does not provide institutional supports for working parents to combine motherhood and employment. Working mothers are in search of family-work balance, because child care is the main women responsibilities. Motherhood is still a crucial part of life project for Russian women.