On Transformation of the Role and Meanings of Fatherhood in Russia Today
Cand. Sci. (Sociol.), Acting Head of the Department of youth sociology and youth policy, Saint Petersburg State University. Saint Petersburg, Russia. email@example.com
The reported study was funded by RFBR, project No. 19-011-00543.
The article presents the author’s reflections on I. O. Shevchenko’s monograph “Fathers and Fatherhood in Modern Russia: A Sociological Analysis”. The reasons for scholarly interest to study masculinity and fatherhood are, so the author, transformation of families, emergence of varying family structures and new forms of parenthood, democratization of family life, increasing number of divorces, emancipation of values and practices of women. Theoretical and methodological foundations of studying fatherhood as a social institution and social practice are duly considered. The author concludes that it is important to study meanings of fatherhood in crisis situations, the need for mastering life choices and overcoming obstacles. Key meaning of father’s role is seen to be a guide through life, a mentor, helping a child to enter difficult life world, to understand risks, to set goals, to initiate child’s growing up. It is concluded that the interviewing of men has specific feature consisting in a careful attitude to fathers’ wounded masculinity. It is shown that there are lacunae, gaps, and problem fields in studies of modern Russian fatherhood. Promising for future research are, as the author asserts, families and fathers who are in difficult life situations and those from families risking recurrent family crises.