Choosing whether to have children: A netnographic study of women’s attitudes towards childbirth and the family in post-Soviet Russia
This chapter will explore a number of issues in relation to motherhood and the family in post-Soviet Russia. These include the decline in the birth rate, changes in women’s attitudes towards having children, the emergence of the Childfree movement, and, conversely, the emphasis on ‘intensive mothering’ which has emerged in recent years. Since children have traditionally been considered an essential feature of the family, we will also consider whether people’s understanding of the family is undergoing change as more people remain childless. We will argue that although it is easier for women to make choices about having children than it was in the more prescriptive Soviet era, there are still social pressures, old and new, which influence these choices. Our research method is an analysis of discussions between Russian women on the issues outlined above which have taken place on various Russian Internet sites.