9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN26 Sociology of Social Policy

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Comparing European Welfare Regimes Building II, Auditório C1.04

Structural Transformations of Russian Society and Challenges for Social Policy

Structural Transformations of Russian Society and Challenges for Social Policy

Sidorina Tatiana (Higher School of Economics, Russia, Moscow)

Contemporary Russian society has gone through serious structural transformations over the last two decades. There appeared new strata and phenomena: "the new rich", "the new poor", "new financial and political elite", social exclusion etc.
Formally the objects of social policy remained the same. However if formerly the first place among objects of social policy was taken by citizens (households), who could not provide for themselves an adequate level of income (disabled people, invalids, pensioners, families with many children, young people and so on), now this list has been considerably extended. The process of total marginalization of the population of Russia in 1980-1990-ies resulted in extreme poverty of able-bodied citizens.
Alongside with this there appeared in Russia new strata which enter the higher income groups. The representatives of these strata have their own requirements for the new social policy: social stability, opportunity to buy elite housing, modernization of medical care system and system of education, provision of future pensions, creation of reliable savings system.
All this is a challenge for the Russian social policy and the Russian state, because it inherited a society which was very complicated in its structure and this situation is becoming more complicated as the social problems of the population have remained unsolved for decades in the absence of a well-founded concept taking into account the specific features of Russia.