Civil society and the state intertwined: the case of disability NGOs in Russia
The paper focused on the issues of representation of disability in a modern culture and historical evolution of this concept.
Cinematic representations not only strongly influence our interpretation of history (Ferro 1992: 315), but are also important for understanding key aspects of Soviet disability policy. At the beginning of the twentieth century the new medium of cinema enjoyed immense popularity in many countries due to the efforts of commercial filmmakers to produce popular entertainment in the genres of melodrama, comedies and adventure stories. After the October Revolution in Russia, however, cinema was mainly used for education and propaganda (Lawton 1992: 2). Visual arts not only represented, but also contributed to, political discourses in Soviet society by using old and new imaginaries for classifying citizens. This chapter explores the ‘iconography’ of disability in Soviet film in order to reveal the shifting and contested meanings associated with the visual representation of disabled bodies
There are over thirty million disabled people in Russia and Eastern Europe, yet their voices are rarely heard in scholarly studies of life and well-being in the region. This book brings together new research by internationally recognised local and non-native scholars in a range of countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. It covers, historically, the origins of legacies that continue to affect well-being and policy in the region today, discusses disability in culture and society, highlighting the broader conditions that construct disability and in which disabled people must build their identities and well-being, provides in-depth biographical profiles that outline what living with disabilities in the region is like, and examines policy interventions, including international influences, recent reforms and the difficulties of implementing inclusive, community-based care. The book will be of interest both to regional specialists, for whom the problem of declining standards of health and well-being is a crucial concern, and to scholars of disability and social policy internationally
The paper uses the data of the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Study to analyze the change in the state of health of the Russian population in the post-Soviet period. Age is regarded as a factor with a potential to influence incidence of chronic disease, disability and self-preservation behavior. The authors stress the importance of such factors of health deterioration as smoking and alcohol consumption.
Apart from the public sphere and the norms set by society, the private sphere plays an important role in the lives of the disabled, including the personal experience of disability at a micro level: in their families, everyday routines and romantic relationships. In this chapter, issues of family structure are considered using a narrative analysis of interviews with women who use wheelchairs. Various cultural, social, economic and political determinants effect the formation of certain types of family structure and attitudes towards family life. At the same time, they interrelate with biographical factors that reinforce or weaken the limits of freedom and private life. Using narrative analysis, I demonstrate what role family plays in constructing the identity of a person with a disability, and how family members act as coauthors of individual biographies. This can be seen in those dilemmas of family life associated with the feelings, sexuality and emotional stability at the micro-level of the life experience and identification of women with disabilities.