ERIC Number: EJ748518
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Nov
Reference Count: 18
The Family in Countries with a Transition Economy
Rimashevskaia, N. M.
Russian Education and Society, v46 n11 p6-28 Nov 2004
Russian researchers have identified three forms of monogamous family in Russia: (1) The patriarchal or traditional family; (2) The child-centered or modern family; and (3) The spousal or postmodern family. This article presents the findings of a study examining the structural characteristics of the Russian sample of families. This Russian-American study was conducted in 1996 in Moscow as well as in villages of Pskov and Saratov oblasts to determine the quality of marriages under conditions of Russian society's transition to market relations. In the process of the research, a study was made of married partners' gender ideas, labor division in the household, the making of decisions in the marriage, perceptions of the quality of the marriage, thoughts about divorce, and problems of violence in the form of verbal and physical abuse. Some of the findings of the study include: (1) Family formations based on cohabitation or unregistered marriages add up to 5.9 percent in Moscow, 6.4 percent in Pskov Oblast, and 7.6 percent in Saratov Oblast; (2) There has been a steady observable increase in the number of children born out of wedlock; (3) There is an observable definite tendency for the size of the family and the household to decline; and (4) There is a decline in the number of divorces. This survey also reveals the five most typical kinds of families in Russia: (1) Single-person households; (2) Married couples with children; (3) Married couples without children; (4) Incomplete families consisting of just children, or with children and parents, two- and three-generation families; (5) Complete families with children and parents or three-generation families. Furthermore, the study has the following revelations: (1) The family, by performing the functions of psychological refuge, serves as a island of stability in the absence of guidelines in the social space, characteristic of a substantial portion of society; (2) The family serves to alleviate the severity of problems related to the group that is at social risk--the handicapped, alcoholics, drug abusers, the unemployed, refugees, and those who have returned home from penitentiary institutions; (3) The family remains an undisputed universal human value, the relayer of the cultural legacy, of national and ethnic traditions and ethical norms, whose importance is rising not only for each individual but also for Russia as a whole; and (4) The family is a powerful social institution that is tied to the economy, the social structure, and state and cultural structures by a thousand invisible threads.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Social Structure, Marriage, Drug Abuse, Children, Family Characteristics, Marital Satisfaction, Family Violence, Divorce, Interpersonal Relationship, Surveys, Social Change, Family Attitudes, Family Role
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Russia; Russia (Moscow)