Democratisation and Gender in Contemporary Russia by Suvi Salmenniemi

By Suvi Salmenniemi

This booklet examines civic activism, democratization and gender in modern Russian society. It describes the nature and significant organizing rules of Russian democratic civic existence, contemplating the way it has constructed because the Soviet interval, and interpreting the ambitions and identities of significant civic teams - together with alternate unions - and the meanings they've got bought within the context of wider Russian society. specifically, Suvi Salmenniemi investigates the gender dimensions, either masculine and female, of socio-political participation in Russia, contemplating what different types of gendered meanings are given to civic businesses and formal politics, and the way femininity and masculinity are represented during this context. Exploring the position of nation associations within the improvement of democratic civic existence, the quantity indicates how, lower than the more and more authoritarian Putin regime and its coverage of ‘managed democracy’, self sufficient civic activism is either thriving but on the comparable restricted. in accordance with huge fieldwork learn, it offers a lot wanted details on how Russians themselves view those advancements, either from the point of view of civic activists and the neighborhood specialists.

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31 Contextualization is important in order to avoid the abstraction and detachment of knowledge from the conditions of its production. It is also important to note that context never pre-exists the researcher: the researcher does not step into a ready-made context, but s/he actively produces the context by discussing his/her inquiry in relation to various sociocultural and historical factors that s/he deems relevant (Liljestro¨m 2004, 142–47). Contextual explaining can be understood as a practice of epistemic reflexivity.

These feelings led me to contemplate the differences and similarities between Russian and Finnish gender systems and also helped me to reflect upon my own understanding of gender relations. My role as a participant and an observer turned out to be different in the CGS and TUHW, which also shows in the analyses of these organizations in the forthcoming chapters. I was able to have a closer and more participatory role in the CGS, because of our common interest in feminism, the CGS’s profile as a research center and of its Western orientation.

The first time I met Valentina Ivanovna, the leader of the CGS, she took me to her home. I paid attention to the fact that she had a nice shelf of books of Western feminist and social theory and a computer with Internet access, a printer and a fax. I gathered that the CGS had good resources to conduct its work. By contrast, when I made my first interview with members of the Tver0 TUHW in one of the city hospitals, I was faced with a totally different picture: a crumbling hospital with an apparently eternal renovation.

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