Class and Gender in Russian Welfare Policies: Soviet legacies and contemporary challenges
The general aim of this thesis is to explore the gendered and classed nature of social work and social welfare in Russia to show how social policy can be a part of and reinforce marginalisation. The overall research question is in what ways class and gender are constructed in Russian social work practice and welfare rhetoric through Soviet legacies and contemporary challenges? In addition, which actors contribute to the constitution of social work values and how this value system affects the agency of the clients? This study focuses on contradictory ideologies that are shaped in discursive formations of social policy, social work training and practice. It is a qualitative study, containing fi ve papers looking at this issue from three different perspectives: policy and institutions, culture and discourse, actors and identity. The data collection was arranged as a purposive–iterative process. The empirical material consists of qualitative interviews with social work practitioners, administrators and clients, participant observations in social services and analysis of documents of various kinds.