1st Edition

Pregnancy and Birth in Russia The Struggle for "Good Care"

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    184 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a theoretically and empirically grounded examination of the struggle for maternity care in contemporary Russia, framed by changes to the healthcare system and the roles of its participants after socialism. The chapters consider multiple perspectives and interactions between women and professionals and the structural and institutional pressures they face when striving for better conditions and treatment. Russian maternity care is characterized by the vivid mix of legacy of Soviet paternalism and medicalization, bureaucratic principles of state regulation (with high level of centralization and lack of professional autonomy) and global neoliberal tendencies. Maternity care professionals have to satisfy not only the growing needs and demands of women, but also deal with increasing state regulative control, market demands and new professional standards of care. Navigating these multiple and various challenges, maternity providers have to perform in multiple roles, bridge the organizational gaps and inconsistencies. Thus, the field of struggle for good care becomes not only professional, but political one. Highlighting the opportunities and barriers for good care in the context of post-socialist Russia, this book will be of particular interest to medical anthropologists and sociologists as well as midwives and other health professionals.

    1. Introducing the struggle for "good care" in Russian maternity care

    2. "Sociologists in white": methodological reflections on fieldwork in maternity care3. Maternity care in Russia: the Soviet legacy and post-Soviet reforms

    4. Childbearing women in Russia: consumer agency and the negotiation of "good care"

    5. Providers negotiating multifaceted "good care" 

    6. Struggling for "good care:" the professional as political

    Conclusions: struggling with and within the System for "good" maternity care



    Anna Temkina is Professor of Sociology, Chair in Public Health and Gender, and co-director of the Gender Studies Programme at the European University at Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She received her Ph.D. in Social Sciences from University of Helsinki in 1997. Her interest in gender studies and feminism began in 1990es, now her area of expertise includes gender, reproductive health, sexuality, feminist theory, and gender relations in Soviet and Post-Soviet societies.

    Anastasia Novkunskaya is a sociologist and Associate Professor on qualitative health research at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Health Research at the European University at Saint-Petersburg, Russia. She has defended her PhD in Social Sciences, at the University of Helsinki in 2020. Her PhD thesis was devoted to the arrangement of maternity care services in Russian small towns. Anastasia’s key research field is the sociology of health and medicine, sociology of professions, and qualitative methods.

    Daria Litvina is a sociologist, Research Fellow at Gender Studies Program and Institute for Interdisciplinary Health Research at European University at Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Her academic career began in 2011. Daria’s key research interests regard social studies of health and medicine; gender studies (parenthood, sexuality, body, sexual harassment); sociology of emotions ("new ethics", emotional regimes in institutions); methodology of qualitative research (ethnography, ethics, discourse analysis) and youth studies ((sub)cultures, political engagement).