Democratization and Gender in Contemporary Russia

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-07-14
  • Publisher: Routledge
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This book examines civic activism, democratization and gender in contemporary Russian society. It describes the character and central organizing principles of Russian democratic civic life, considering how it has developed since the Soviet period, and analyzing the goals and identities of important civic groups - including trade unions - and the meanings they have acquired in the context of wider Russian society. In particular, Suvi Salmenniemi investigates the gender dimensions, both masculine and feminine, of socio-political participation in Russia, considering what kinds of gendered meanings are given to civic organizations and formal politics, and how femininity and masculinity are represented in this context. Exploring the role of state institutions in the development of democratic civic life, the volume shows how, under the increasingly authoritarian Putin regime and its policy of 'managed democracy', independent civic activism is both thriving yet at the same constrained. Basedon extensive fieldwork research, it provides much needed information on how Russians themselves view these developments, both from the perspective of civic activists and the local authorities.

Author Biography

Suvi Salmenniemi is a Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki.

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. xii
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introductionp. 1
Theorizing civic activity: civil societyp. 5
Theoretical framework of the studyp. 10
Researching the Russian province: field, data and methodologyp. 19
Outline of the bookp. 29
Patterns of civic activity in Soviet and post-Soviet Russiap. 31
Citizens' activism in the Soviet Unionp. 31
Basic characteristics of post-Soviet civic activityp. 33
Civic activity in Tver': structures, practices, actorsp. 35
Conclusionp. 52
Gender in socio-political activity: power, participation and agencyp. 54
The Soviet gender system and its post-Soviet contestationp. 55
Interpretative repertoiresp. 57
The character repertoire: gendered qualities and orientationsp. 58
The spatial repertoire: renegotiation of the public-private boundaryp. 64
The socio-structural repertoire and the feminist challengep. 70
The inescapable differencep. 76
Why these repertoires?p. 79
Gendered practices of participationp. 82
Conclusionp. 87
Action and affective ties: identity formation of the Centre for Women's History and Gender Studiesp. 89
Resistance from the marginsp. 90
The CGS: Civic organization and educational unitp. 95
In search of a new subject: the aims of the CGSp. 97
Means to an end: activities of the CGSp. 103
Open and civil societyp. 107
Feminism: a stigmatized and liberating identityp. 112
Allies and adversariesp. 116
We as a team and collective: emotional capital and affective tiesp. 120
Negotiating teamwork and hierarchyp. 123
Conclusionp. 128
The weakness of collective identity: the Trade Union of Health Care Workersp. 131
History of the Russian trade union movementp. 132
Unions and health care in fluxp. 134
Protection and help: the goals of the TUHWp. 136
Negotiating occupational ethos and collective: morality, dusha and generationp. 141
Forms of activities: continuities and breaksp. 146
We as narod: the all-inclusive membershipp. 152
Significant silence: genderp. 158
Grappling with politicsp. 159
Conclusionp. 162
Redefining citizenship: views of the authoritiesp. 166
Public discourses: civil society, the third sector and social partnershipp. 167
Practices of interaction: from distance to selective partnershipp. 169
Officials and structuresp. 171
Minimal state and extensive third sectorp. 173
Civic organizations as complementing the statep. 182
Representation and mediationp. 184
Can organizations make a difference?p. 187
Conclusionp. 192
Collaboration and contestation: views of the activistsp. 195
Tactical collaboration and the strategy of involvementp. 195
Partnership and the redefinition of responsibilitiesp. 198
Benevolent indifference and exploitationp. 201
Collaboration and consensusp. 204
Contestation and oppositionp. 207
Unraveling and rebuilding co-operationp. 209
The CGS and the primacy of individual influencep. 214
The TUHW and institutional influencep. 217
Conclusionp. 221
Conclusionp. 223
Notesp. 232
Bibliographyp. 246
Indexp. 259
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