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Gazing at Welfare, Gender and Agency in Post-socialist Countries - Head Work

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The volume presents a new and unique view of welfare in Russia and Eastern European countries from an intersectional perspective of welfare, gender and agency. Since the collapse of socialism, the welfare structures of the post-socialist states have experienced large and rapid changes. The discussions on the reforming welfare models serve as the integrating theme for the volume.

The authors discuss past and current developments and make comparisons in time and space–between the early 1990s and late 2000s and between post-socialist and transitional countries. Welfare and political democratization are analyzed on the one hand as structures and processes and on the other hand as cultural meanings and through agency, which all are strongly gendered.

Macro-level analyses and in-depth case studies by scholars from different countries and disciplines provide a wide and multilayered picture of welfare developments and gendered practices of social services, caregiving and civic activism, among others. Special attention is given to research methodologies, particularly on fieldwork and micro-level understanding of the related topics. The contributors come from social and political sciences and from both former socialist and “Western” countries – from Russia and Slovenia as well as the US, the UK, Germany and Finland. In their studies, the authors examine various regions of Russia and other post-socialist countries, such as the Czech Republic, Romania, Moldova and Slovenia.

Author Biography

The editors, Maija Jäppinen, MSocSc, Meri Kulmala, MA, and Dr Aino Saarinen, SocSc, are members of the multidisciplinary and transnational Welfare, Gender and Agency in Russia in the 2000s (WGA) research team at the Aleksanteri Institute for Russian and Eastern European Studies in the University of Helsinki, Finland.
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