Happiness at everyone, but with love it’s complicated: how to change Russian family

How can you describe a typical Russian family, for what you marry, what family believe happy and is there an ideal model – says senior researcher of the Institute of social policy Higher school of Economics Yulia Lezhnina.

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Marriage all too often an official, and two children – is the norm

– A typical Russian family today is what?

Yulia Lezhnina

– The first is to say that sociologists are talking about society, talking more about trends. And of course, anyone can find the variances, and say, “Oh, and my neighbor not so alive, and his motivation, and the situation is different”. But the rule and the rule that there were exceptions. So I will talk about the changes that are noticeable.

Characteristics of the modern family a lot, some of them describe the situation in most Russian families: marriage still often official, the children in the family is also the norm (the norm is two children), etc. But if we talk about the relationship of spouses in the family, they are very different, and we cannot say that is the most common model of these relations.

Today we speak less about the extended family. Russians often leave urban areas, where they were born and raised, to study or in search of work to provide a better life for themselves and their loved ones. The members of the extended family, clan cease to be glued firmly, not only in terms of physical presence in each other’s lives, but the nature of the relationship.

Communication between family members weaken as the closeness of the relationship with colleagues and friends. In his spare time with relatives (other than household) communicate more, not all, but only 79% of Russians, and most women. Today when one speaks of family, it is, first and foremost, not about the parent, and about your family – spouse and children. Today, the family – those relatives that surround us daily.

– The role of family in the lives of people changed?

– The importance of the family continues unabated, the family was, is and will be important.

The majority (66% of the population), primarily with family and children associate the concept of success in life, and with decreasing settlement size, the proportion thereof increases.

In Moscow, these people are less at 49%, as the capital of a large range of other ambitions – professional, political. Saint Petersburg in this question is rather similar to the secondary cities – 61%. People in General, regardless of place of residence proud of my family (85-89%).

But the way the family is organized, is that people appreciate her today, may be different from what it was previously. Of course, this is the inert area of our lives, but it is not in place. Family can be changed latter, but sooner or later give up.

– The numbers you called, really resonate with the idea that today marriage and the family in crisis.

– First, you need to separate notions of family crisis and crisis of the institution of marriage is a different story. Marriage as the norm slowly eroded, but it remains dominant. The majority of Russians (58%) are married, and another 7% are constant companions of life right relations, 17% never married, 9% divorced and 10% widows and widowers. In rural areas and small cities, the number of married couples above. But in Moscow, St Petersburg and regional centres a high proportion of those who were not, and never was in a registered Union (18-21%) and divorced (11-12%).

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Cohabitation is now seen as a natural preliminary stage of family life, there is a kind of a new trajectory of marriage: first marriage begins with living together and only then is registered, registration of remarriage may also be delayed. Age at marriage is gradually increasing. According to Rosstat, in 1980, the age of the bride and groom were less than 25 years to 62 and 71%, respectively, and in 2013 – only 25% and 39%.

As a rule of official support marriage as a cultural and environmental conditions: issues of division of joint property, inheritance, obligations of parents to children after a divorce, etc. and Vice versa, including the regulatory environment affects, for example, the rejection of formal marriage. The institution of marriage does not exist independently from the specific legal issues.

In the modern family remain the traditional role

– What else has changed in recent years?

– Change, for example, the situation with gender roles in the family: what are the roles of a man and a woman, what they each other waiting as all along. And here, on the one hand, everything changes for a long time: it would seem that eroded the traditional role of a male breadwinner and female homemakers, strengthens the position of women in society and its role, including in the pair.

But it is noteworthy that in this matter there is a unidirectional linear progress: observed strengthening of the position of women and certain setbacks of this process, especially in periods of crisis, increased demand for traditional women’s roles in the prosperous segments of the population.

In the early 2000’s, and in large and small cities almost half of Russians (45%) supported a consensus model of the family, when there is someone to master and decisions are made jointly, and 25% of the pragmatic model in which the important decisions in the family accepts the one who better than others versed in the current situation. The traditional, paternalistic model, in which the leading role in the family belongs to men, supported a quarter of the population (25%). A utilitarian model, where the head of the family – the one who makes the greatest contribution to the family budget in different years to the least popular, by about 10%. Thus men in all regions often focused on paternalistic, and women in consensual family type.

Today the ratio is about the same, and in the modern family maintains traditional gender roles (male breadwinner, a female housewife and mother). But in General, equal (35%) were in the proportion of those who adhere to joint participation in matters of family life, and those who are closer to a model where the male head.

Thus, in contrast to large cities and even St Petersburg, where more than half of women and men adhere to a consensus model, the paradox is observed in Moscow: women more likely than men to prefer a paternalistic, traditional model (38% women and 33% men).

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– And why the rollback of women to traditional roles?

– On the one hand, this lack of most women in the habit of taking responsibility for the situation of the family, including in moments of crisis. Now I’m talking about among young people, which already lived in the new reality than women of the 90s.

On the other hand, it works and the fact that women provide the solution to many problems in the family: life is complicated and to ensure the daily existence of the family is a large and complex task that sometimes requires non-trivial skills. Here is what to realize themselves and show their creativity.

What repressed dreams of love

– What are the types of families there are today?

– There are families, the core of which are children. There are families that exist around agriculture and an established life, family in this case constitutes an “economic unit”. There is a system of relationships where people see each other primarily as sexual partners. About 20% of Russians consider such models of ideal families.

And there are “family as a comfort zone”, when the house is a comfortable, casual environment where people – friends and them with each other conveniently. This model is now emerging as a time primarily among the youth of the cities. But this is not about “soul” and “in each other disappear”. Comfort: this man is reliable, quiet, comfortable in everyday interaction. About her dreams, about a third of the population. As much as ideal considering, first, the economic functions of the family.

That is, Russians have different preferences, and it is normal and desirable family model they have is also different. No families are worse or better, just different. And to suit your preferences people choose partners and build a life as they think they are maximum suitable. For someone good – this is a child, and he becomes the center of the family, for someone happiness is when the house is full Cup, but for someone – its own autonomy.

You need to understand that happiness at everyone. And tolerance to different forms of family life – a trend the last decades. Every family can be happy in their own way.

All models that I mentioned – the conventional “pure” types. It’s just a point of priority preferences, but in practice they are somewhat mixed.

– And before these types of families were not?

– With the liberalization of consciousness, the emergence of freedom of expression and just social transformation of the last 30 years, there has been a certain weakening of the framework. And now we are more tolerant of differences, nesobrannosti than it was 30 years ago. Ie is good – it is not only “fell in love, married, had two children and the rest of your life together.”

Early practices were also different: where once was love until the end of days, where there was a personal story of a man and a woman, which flowed in the family for children, and somewhere in the exposure template for internal “unhappiness”. While the appearance of good family was generally much more unified.

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Now rules are not so rigid, there is the idea that people are different, they live different, happy different and they all have the right to their personal individual happiness.

– That is now in the long life family meets the family itself?

– And this is precisely the question that the person has a family. This is not only the relationship between a man and a woman, it is also a number of related problems – the birth and upbringing of children, providing economic component, where the spouse is considered in different roles – friend and master, and the father or mother of children – that is a lot of things added to personal relations of spouses.

And it all depends on the kernel, priorities, around which the family kept, it must be always relevant. If the family revolves around some farming, it is just fine – all my life around one together fill the bowl. If we are talking about families that are there for the kids, there is a crisis when children grow up and fly away from the nest. If family sticks around comfort, when he goes missing for various reasons, a man and a woman may decide to break relations. A special case families, where relationships are built only on feelings. The question of the duration of conjugal Union – it is a question of what the participants value in him.

– Is there a place for love? Or enough respect and convenience?

Love is a very difficult figure to study, including the respondents themselves. There is evidence that in the early 2000’s, only 5% of women aged 17 to 50 years, said that finding true love is not included in their life plans.

Today, the meeting of true love – only the 12th of the 14 life priorities of Russians, among such as, for example, to get a good education, to have your private apartment, house, to start their own business, to have good children; to live in prosperity, to have good health, become a respected and well-known person and so on.

Today, dreams of love even among young people displaced by the hope for prosperity, health and equitable social order.

At the same time a good family takes the 4th place in these priorities and is a dream for 17% of Russians.

To treat for the money we are children, not themselves

– And how changing attitudes towards children?

According to FNESC RAS 2014, only 55% of Russians would like to have children. Of these, 10% – one child, 30% – two 15% – more than two, that is today for Russians wishing to become parents, the ideal number of children is two. A third (34%) already have one child, and another third (34%) – two and 7% more than two.

The main priorities in the education of children for the Russians is education, business skills (business acumen and profession, providing “bread”), awareness (citizenship, democratic values, mental abilities), tolerance (belief in God, tolerance), durability and ability to stand up for themselves, honesty and kindness, self-discipline.

The Muscovites there was a slightly stronger focus on the education of the children of faith in God and tolerance, however, as the desire to develop business acumen and citizenship.

At the same time, regardless of family type, children continue to be a point of investment in families. And what would we say: education, health, leisure, investments in children have a greater priority than investing in the lives of parents. To treat for the money we are children, not themselves, and to invest in their education and the rest too more than. And there is no reason, for something to change.

– And if to speak about investments from the state? What direction have to develop in the first place, in your opinion?

In my opinion, definitely need to support the system of motherhood and childhood. It should be understood that investing in human capital is not available to all, and maximum return on investment in human capital is investment in preschool age. That is, the earlier you invest in the child, the higher the returns will be conditional on the ruble from such investments.

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And investment in children of preschool age are excluded from the area of attention of state: primary infrastructure is very limited and built on the principle look closely and oversight, not education. Accordingly, this feature of investment in children the state does not. And we understand that affluent populations have resources and pay for investments in the child, unlike those who have no resources. This will only exacerbate the inequality of Russians of different social backgrounds.

In this respect it seems more effective to create that available in institutions related to education and upbringing of the children. Kindergartens should provide education. The loss of nursery – it is also a loss for our social policy. And here the question is not only freeing time and resources of women, but also a question of competences of parents themselves to care for their child. The corresponding views and desire is not all.

– You can imagine in what direction the family will develop further?

– Create a happy and harmonious family for the Russians today is one of the tasks of life that everyone should decide for themselves. It is less associated with special dreams or ambitions and is rather the norm. In the near future the situation will not change much. Will only be search for the optimum for each case the model family. It is, in fact, part of finding your own happiness.

The observed kickbacks to the traditional view, which we note is a signal that we won’t go far from them. The variety of micro models of family relations will develop, and it is through their dissimilarity and diversity we will continue to look for ways of development of the family.

Data source: all-Russian representative research of the Federal research sociological centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences 2003-2018.

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