In this article, author presents basic theoretical approaches in economy, sociology and demography, explaining the phenomenon of single-parenthood. In this paper, the following approaches are described: the theory of marriage (G. Becker), the transactional approach (R. Pollack), the family development theory and the family life cycle concept (E. Duval, R. Hill, P. Glikk), the theory of gender inequality (A. Cherlin) and the theory of the Second demographic transition (R. Lesteg, D. van de Kaa). Although such demographic events as the birth out of the marriage and divorce are the result of a conscious choice of the person, during long time they were considered by researchers as the events breaking normal sequence of stages of family development. The increase of nonmarital birth rate, the growth of the number of divorces and the widespread of cohabitations in the 1980th led to changes in matrimonial and reproductive behavior of people. These changes in behavior caused the revision of the existing approaches to the lonely parenthood, and the renewal of conceptual framework: the term “union” and “cohabitation” began be used together with the term "marriage", and the term "life cycle" was replaced by the term "life course".
In this article we analyze the new (2012-2013) state initiatives in the sphere of family policy. Special attention is paid to the analysis of the "Conception of state family policy in the period preceding 2025" (public project). In the article we pay special attention to the ideological dimension of the proposed varient of family policy and measures of its implementation. We also evaluate their coherence, The author evaluates the proposed version of family policy as a pronatalist one with obvious neotraditionalist and paternalist tendencies, which draws it together with trends of family policy of the previous period (2006-2011). Analysis of the contents of this project revealed an array of serious drawbacks of this document. In particular, the pronatalist orientation of the Conception results in the situation when many real problems faced by Russian families (problems of the elderly family members, problems of work-family balance) end up on the periphery of state attention. At the same time, the Conception only weakly correlates with other spheres of social policy (provision of pensions, migration policy, education), which creates a hazard of general social policy incoherence.
Performativity in action: Michel Callon's economy of qualities as a paradigm for sociological analysis of markets An alternative research program has been emerging in economic sociology in last decade. It rejects the critique of homo economicus in favour of examining why economic agents progressively resemble this economic conception of man. The new approach relies on thesis of performativity of economics, according to which the distribution of economic knowledge and technology dramatically changes economic practice, thereby increasing the verisimilitude of economic theories. Calculativeness can be considered now as a key feature of the man and his technological environment. This paper demonstrates how performativity thesis combined with the theory of monopolistic competition can provide a paradigm for economicsociological research of markets, which would be able to take full account of increasing structuring impact of economic technologies on economic practices.
For the past 15 years, a turnstile system has been operating in the Moscow ground transportation. In September 2018, authorities completely removed the turnstiles from the salons, arguing that the passengers began to more consciously approach to fare payment, which, in fact, they were taught by the turnstiles. The aim of the study is to show what user experience the turnstile system has developed during its existence. Fare payment is usually explained by the work of two principles: trust and control. The principle of trust lies in the formation of stable relations between passengers and the carrier, where each side emphasizes interest in each other. The principle of control implies enhancing the monitoring of fare and the emergence of mechanisms of enforcement by the carrier. We will focus on the description of the work of another principle, which is poorly taken into account in the discussion of the effectiveness of the turnstile system –– discipline. In December 2017, we observed how passengers use the turnstile when paying for the ride through the validator at the front door. This was the last month of the overall turnstiles’ operation. Starting from January 1, 2018, they were removed on more than 70 routes. We identify that the passage of the turnstile puts the passenger in an uncomfortable situation: under pressure from the queue, the passengers must lean the ticket against the validator as fast as possible and squeeze their bags and children through the turnstile. In this situation, passengers mainly focus their attention not on those signals that the validator reports, but on the need for mechanical scrolling of the turnstile. Now, when the turnstiles have already been removed from all ground transportation routes, we observe the absence of a formed habit of conscious interaction with validators. If passengers are leaning tickets to the validator, they often pay little attention to whether the validator is able to recognize the ticket and write off the ride. As a result, we come to the conclusion that there is no connection between the 15-year functioning of the turnstile system and the conscious fare payment. Thus, the strategic interaction between authorities and passengers demonstrates that, in addition to the formation of trusting relationships and control mechanisms, it is important to take into account the disciplinary component of user experience.
The article deals with the analysis of representations of foster parenthood in mass culture on the example of the analysis of the TV series "Foundlings" (TV channel “Home”, 2016–2017). The ideology of foster parenthood and its main elements are reconstructed. The author starts with the idea that mass culture products create ideological images of parenthood that define patterns of behavior and ways of interpreting the everyday experience of fathers and mothers. But they also offer in a simplified form pictures which are easily understandable to mass audience and use mass shared canons and stereotypes. Mass cultural products broadcast the prevailing power relations through the policies of representations and produce mass shared notions of normal and abnormal, morally approved and unacceptable behavior. The methodology of the case-study is used in the research. Interpretation and generalization of the results of the case analysis is built on the basis of a wide range of information sources: popular mass culture products (novels, films and TV programms), legislation, interviews with experts and parents. The political and ideological context of the series is reconstructed in connection with the reforms of the deinstitutionalization of care for children left without parental care, which began in 2014 (418 Decree of the RF Government). The repeated structural elements of the serial “Foundlings” were found: types of characters, the sequence of their actions and the general meanings of the events taking place. The following structural elements were picked up: bad mothers, irresponsible fathers, non-subjective children, altruistic citizens, the state. The serial stories are built around the representations of "good" and "bad" parenthood as natural categories that are inherent to the individuals. Representation of the causes of child's loss of family occurs within the cultural paradigm of “poor motherhood”. The representations of good and bad parenting are inscribed in the broader discursive construction of responsible parenthood. In general, the representations of parenthood in contemporary Russian mass culture are inscribed in the liberal trend of Russian social policy, act as an instrument for moral education of parents, as well as for mobilizing citizens and families to solve state tasks related to the welfare of children without parental care.
The article focuses on how the method of participant observation can be applied in such an understudied and hard-to-access field as monastic communities. Monastic studies generate interest in academic circles but rarely become subjects of methodological reflection. The article fills the gap and analyzes the specifics of this method, its strengths and limitations as applied to monastic environment. The article discusses the ways of formulating a legend and two methods of gaining access to field: through official channels and church administration, “top-down,” and unofficial routes and gatekeepers, direct contacts, “bottom-up.” Predominantly referring to the research in Christian monasteries, the author examines four roles of a researcher depending on the degree of participation, they are: a guest, a pilgrim (or trudnik), a potential monk and a monk. Special attention is paid to professional identity conflicts that are solved with the help of “research bargains.” Such compromises as observing body discipline, mastering self-control skills, physical work and sometimes even participation in liturgical activities of a monastery are mentioned. Some aspects of reciprocal relations between a researcher and an informant and the ways to sustain them are examined. The paper covers several limitations of the method of participant observation in relation to the monastic environment, among them are: seasonality of rural monastic life, unsystematic nature of observation, researcher’s subjectivity, lack of access to certain areas of monastic life. In conclusion, the author draws attention to the selection of observation units, in particular, the difference in observation in small and large monasteries. The author gives first-person examples of empirical research in various monasteries which can be used as recommendations in conducting similar fieldwork. The article draws on the author’s fieldwork in Russian Orthodox monasteries since 2011, as well as the experience of Russian and foreign colleagues who study monastic communities.
This article is a sociological investigation of the concept of care, particularly in terms of professionalization of (parental) care. The aim of the article is to analyze how foster parents who live in children’s villages make sense of their parenting activities for themselves. Sociological conceptualization of care serve as the theoretical framework for our research, which allows us to answer questions, such as: what is care as an activity; who is supposed to provide mundane care; what is the locus of care; what kind of an institutional logic and cultural models of justification it is connected with. Our analysis is based on the empirical research in five children’s villages in which we conducted focus groups with foster parents living in those children’s villages (family campuses) and three semi-structured thematic interviews with foster parents which all were recorded and transcribed.
Due to ”deficit of care”, a problem characteristic to modern societies, there is growing interest in sociological analysis of care. The global trend towards professionalization of care in general and professionalization of parenting in particular makes it possible to consider care as a particular kind of activity, which requires special skills and knowledge from the performer of care activity. This activity is beyond the private sphere and it can be performed by a number of actors: family, the state, the market and/or the third sector. Foster parenting is a good example of how the global trend of the professionalization of care is applied in a local context under the conditions structured by the deinstitutionalization policy of care for children left without parental care and by the particular environment of living, namely a children’s village.
The children’s village — collective living of foster families — is understood in this article as a particular regime of care, which consists of the following elements of care: ideals of care, its institutional setting and concrete caring practices. Children’s villages are a form of long-term upbringing of children left without parental care orphans. This particular form is based on the ideal of care in family opposed to institutionalized form of care (orphanage).
The key difference of a children’s village from other forms of care for this category of children is its very special spatial locus and social structure, intensive presence of foster parent community and special features related to foster parents themselves (such as the length of experience in foster parenting and in raising such children that face difficulties to be place in “ordinary” foster families, specialization of caring certain categories of children).
The studied foster parents problematize the performed care by perceiving their activity through a tension which can be viewed as a love-work dichotomy. Their understanding of caring as love over the foster children in their families can be categorized as moral conducts and mission calling. These leads to a certain system of interpretations over foster parenting and the logic of practicing parenthood and concrete parenting practices. The professionalization of foster parenting is perceived as formalization and increasing bureaucratic control and thus as a loss of autonomy of a family. Understanding of care over foster children as work in turn allows foster parents to rationalize their activities and to question the official status of a foster parent in Russian society. Professionalization of foster parenting serves as a way to address a number of problems that parents face, attitude changes toward fostering and increasing the status of care in general.
The paper employs the categories of ideologeme and kul’turnost’ for the analysis of post-Soviet urban mass celebrations. The paper delves into how Soviet ideological clichés and stereotypes are manifested in the language of contemporary Russian urban inhabitants. The paper also explains the interdependence between a survey situation, a research setting, and the celebrative lexicon of post-Soviet urban inhabitants. Kul’turnost’ is considered as the set of practices, which is a fantastic and fragmented mixture of uncouth upbringing, high culture, satisfaction, seduction, and inaccessibility for the masses (Volkov 1996; Kozlova 2005). The research setting is the industrial city of Perm with approximately one million citizens. The data comes from the survey, conducted with 429 White Nights in Perm Festival – 2012 visitors. The results demonstrate that visitors have a complex structure of their opinions including the clichés rooted in Soviet discursive heritage. In terms of Soviet ideologemes the festival looks like a public good providing dignified leisure for Perm citizens. Desirable and non-desirable behavioral patterns are constructed by the dichotomies referring to the content of kul’turnost’ concept. Applying Bourdieu’s idea of “the objectivisation of the objectifier”, the paper reflects on the influence of surveys on the usage of Soviet discursive heritage. The results suggest the necessity to regard Soviet discursive heritage as an influential source of signifiers for articulating opinions in post-Soviet Russia. The paper also questions the usage of Western originated scales as the main tool for festival impact evaluation.
According to interdisciplinary theory of architecture and sociology by A. Amin and N. Thrift, presented in their book Cities. Reimagining the Urban, the light sociality is the main way of individuals interaction in city space. In this context, consumption appears to be one of the basic forms of individuals self-expression on one hand, and on the other hand - one of the basic forms of urban communication. We deal with consumption in its general meaning - as a complex of all individuals consumption-related practices that are transparent in space of light sociality. Consumption practices become agents of light sociality, producing ambivalent encounters that emotionally affect individuals realizing those practices, and those who observe them. In this way consumption takes part in governmentality of the city spaces.
An analytical approach to consumption as to the process of transmission of cultural values and social experience between generations assumes that we should use long-dated symbols, objects of material culture, which are characterized by properties and functions of symbolic mediators of social interaction (P. Sorokin) and transmission mediums (R. Debray). A key problem of research is to assert the conception of long-dated symbols and to separate out such forms of social interaction (consumption practice) which can overcome time and space and take part in transmission of value-oriented and normative foundations of culture between individuals.
Contemporary Russia has a low level of trust. Collective leisure can shape trusting behavior. There is a variety of leisure activities, including nightlife — places that work after midnight. Although such places are often associated with deviant behavior, in many European cities nighttime leisure begins to institutionalize. At the same time, nightclubs in the capital of Russia continue to close. Following the wave of attention to nightlife, the paper explores displays of trust in the Moscow nightclub “Mutabor”. The variety of trust generates a discussion about what kind of trust appears during joint leisure. The study works with three types: interpersonal, in-group, and generalized trust, seeking to find which type can appear during joint leisure in a nightclub. Trust seems to be difficult for empirical study. The work uses the method of indirect trust detection, which is proposed to solve problems of trust exploration. On the materials of 14 semi-formalized interviews with visitors of the “Mutabor” club, the practices of trust formation during joint leisure are described. Practices that arise during collective leisure are capable of simultaneously forming multiple types of trust. Practices of direct interaction can shape interpersonal trust between club visitors. Other practices creating a sense of community between visitors are able to form an in-group trust. They solve the problem of collective action within the boundaries of the nightclub. However, the revealed trust towards strangers is applied only to the audience of the nightclub and does not go beyond, spreading to the outside world. A generalized trust as a trust to all people in general does not appear due to practices of trust forming during joint leisure in a nightclub.
The book “The Politics of Crowds: Alternative History of Sociology” by Christian Borch is devoted to the history of emergence and development of the “semantics” of crowds. Danish sociologist solved two difficult problems. First, he reconstructed broad scientific debate, which revolves around the concepts “crowd” and “mass”. Second, he analyzed socio-political circumstances that has influenced development of this debate. The book reconstructs history of the crowd semantics evolution in France, Germany and the United States and refers to a general analysis of the collective behavior and mass society theories development. Author emphasizes that core ideas of the classical crowds’ semantics such as irrationality, de-individualization, and “abnormality” of mass activity conflict with the liberal program of modernity based on the values of individualism and rationality. Advantages of the reviewed book are a large sample of sources; consideration of various and controversial elements of the crowds’ semantics; original content organization. However, the author leaves unsaid some cases of the “alternative history” – he does not pay attention to contemporary discussion of the crowds in the context of “the rise of crowdsourcing.” Sometimes it is difficult to do distinguish between definition of “mass” or “crowd”, given by particular author and Borch’s interpretations. Nevertheless, this book certainly deserves readers’ attention. It provides a new perspective on the history of the crowd semantics and on a wider context, shows the non-linearity and diversity of history of social thought in XX century.