Rivkin-Fish, Michele R. (2010). Pronatalism, Gender Politics, and the Renewal of Family Support in Russia: Toward a Feminist Anthropology of “Maternity Capital”. Slavic Review, 69(3)
This article examines the gendered consequences of linking family support to state pronatalist goals in contemporary Russia. By analyzing the policies, proposals, and critiques circulating on the maternity capital program, Michele Rivkin-Fish demonstrates how state power and citizenship are being constructed through struggles over the meanings of gender and family. She further argues that studies of Russian demographic politics must bring attention to both institutional transformations and the symbolic levels of discourse. This holistic approach, rooted in feminist anthropology, illuminates the particular, cultural logics informing demographic debates as well as the apparent contradictions between ideologies, policies, and practices. Pronatalist discourses engage Russian politicians, experts, and laypersons in efforts to undo the troubling legacy of Soviet gender relations and the 1990s fertility crisis; in the process, these policies define and deploy state power in ways that sustain and normalize gender inequalities.
Rivkin-Fish, Michele R.