And They Lived Happily Ever After: Norms and Everyday Practices of Family and Parenthood in Russia and Central Europe

And They Lived Happily Ever After: Norms and Everyday Practices of Family and Parenthood in Russia and Central Europe

And They Lived Happily Ever After: Norms and Everyday Practices of Family and Parenthood in Russia and Central Europe

And They Lived Happily Ever After: Norms and Everyday Practices of Family and Parenthood in Russia and Central Europe

Synopsis

Takes a comparative perspective on family life and childhood in the past half century in Russia and Eastern Europe, highlighting similarities and differences. Focuses on the problematic domains of the institutions and laws devised to cope with family difficulties, and discusses the social strains created by the transition from communist to post-communist national systems.

Excerpt

The collection of texts in the present book started with a conference held in September 2008 at the Centre for Baltic and East European Studies (CBEES) at Södertörn University. Titled “Family, Marriage and Parenthood in Eastern Europe, Russia and Sweden,” the symposium sought to gather scholars from various parts of Europe to discuss topics having to do with the family, marriage, childhood, and parenthood from a contemporary, historical and comparative perspective. It was also part of the research project “The Family vs. the Strong State in Eastern Europe and the Baltic Sea Region: Freedom or Coercion?” the project and the conference were funded by Östersjöstiftelsen (the Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies), established by the Swedish government to support research and the training of researchers dealing with the Baltic region, Russia, and Eastern Europe at Södertörn University.

We are grateful to the foundation for the financial assistance that made this book possible and to the Publication Committee at cbees for their support and encouragement. We also thank the members of the abovementioned research project for their important commentaries to the introductory chapter of this volume. Finally, we express our gratitude to Charles Rougle (University at Albany) for copyediting the English text in the final manuscript and Peter Isotalo for editing the English text in parts of the book at an earlier stage.

We recommend this volume specifically to scholars and students of the Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe with a particular interest in social, gender and family issues, and to specialists in social and welfare policies on a broader level. the book is also well-suited as a reader in sociology, gender studies, history, and other academic disciplines within the humanities and social science.

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