Family, Marriage, and Sexuality in Russia
In Lieu of an Abstract
Youth in Russia has been undergoing massive dynamic changes in terms of marriage and sexuality over the past two decades. This is one of the main factors that determine the norms and trends in contemporary family evolution. These were caused both by universal processes common to all the developed countries, and the huge radical shifts are induced by reforms in the post-Soviet society. Among the most important changes are an increased age of first marriage, a growing divorce rate, an increasing number of single-parent families, a rising extended family ratio (i.e. married couples or mothers with children living with their parents or other relatives) and non-cohabitating married couples. We can identify some other trends, not only in behavior, but also in the perception Russians have of family and marriage (SDDR, 2010: 65–75)…
Youth are, by definition, the future. This book brings initial analyses to bear on youth in the five BRICS countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which are home to nearly half of the world's youth. Very little is known about these youth outside of their own countries since the mainstream views on "youth" and "youth culture" are derived from the available literature on youth in the industrialized West, which is home to a small part of the world's youth. This book aims to help fill in this gap.
The handbook examines the state of youth, their past, present and permits the development of insights about future. The BRICS countries have all engaged in development processes and some remarkable improvements in young people's lives over recent decades are documented. However, the chapters also show that these gains can be undermined by instabilities, poor decisions and external factors in those countries. Periods of economic growth, political progress, cultural opening up and subsequent reversals rearticulate differently in each society. The future of youth is sharply impacted by recent transformations of economic, political and social realities. As new opportunities emerge and the influence of tradition on youth's lifestyles weakens and as their norms and values change, the youth enter into conflict with dominant expectations and power structures.
The topics covered in the book include politics, education, health, employment, leisure, Internet, identities, inequalities and demographics. The chapters provide original insights into the development of the BRICS countries, and place the varied mechanisms of youth development in context. This handbook serves as a reference to those who are interested in having a better understanding of today's youth. Readers will become acquainted with many issues that are faced today by young people and understand that through fertile dialogues and cooperation, youth can play a role in shaping the future of the world.
Russia’s declining birth rate is linked to a delay in a family’s decision to have children and to uncertainty about the place of children in a couple’s relationship. Despite the rise of individualism and the importance of career and self-realization, however, the family retains a very important place in Russian society.
In this chapter we aim to examine the discourses created and reproduced through the interaction between single mothers and representatives of social services. The analysis is based on twenty-six interviews with single mothers and six interviews with social workers conducted in 2001–2003, and six interviews with single mothers and three with social workers conducted in 2006 in the Saratov region in Russia, as well as official documents and the publications of other researchers. In our interviews with mothers, we focused on the issues of familial well-being and interactions with social services, while social workers were asked to discuss their experiences with clients. A short overview of statistics and social policy terminology prefaces a discussion of how mother-headed families and state social policy interrelate and affect each other. The subsequent sections contain analysis of the interviews with single mothers who, as the heads of low-income households, interact with the social service system. The analysis demonstrates that single mothers are frustrated by inadequate assistance and the impossibility of improving their life situations. The discussion goes on to show that social workers, who are used to interpreting complex issues in the life situations of single mothers as individual psychological peculiarities, tend to blame the victim, thus ignoring important social conditions and imposing on women a responsibility for problems that are societal in origin.
This chapter addresses the relationship between class, family and social welfare policies by analysing the construction of the identity category of ‘unfortunate families’ in popular scientific discourses, governmental policy documents and discourses of social services, and by examining how those labelled as ‘unfortunate’ negotiate this identity conferred to them. The chapter shows that gender and class are closely intertwined in the production of this identity, as it is single mothers who are primarily categorized as ‘unfortunate’. In our analysis we draw on multiple sources of data. First, we analyse in-depth and focus group interviews with service providers and clients and participant observation data from a number of Russian cities. Second, we analyse various government documents and social advertisements, mass media materials, social policy and social work textbooks, and popular scientific texts published during the 1990s-2000s.
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.
The article at issue is intended to look into family-related concepts through experimental psycholinguistic tools. Furthermore, it involves substantial references to linguistics, history, sociology, and psychology to reveal the background of the experimental data retrieved. Such approach allows researching and accounting for the experimental data from different angles what makes the interpretation more comprehensive, thorough and credible.