Indiana University Press

New Anthropologies of Europe

Published by: Indiana University Press

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New Anthropologies of Europe

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Women's Health in Post-Soviet Russia

The Politics of Intervention

Michele Rivkin-Fish

"An unparalleled study of a transforming and privatizing Russian health care system, of the promises and perils of prescriptive programs for change, that points to the areas that need change in the change-makers themselves.... part of a larger story about the inherent dangers of current neoliberal economic transformations of fragile post-socialist social welfare arrangements.... "Rivkin-Fish takes the reader into a new understanding of the fragile and tense relations between state and market transitions, and into the deep and largely silent struggle for gender and health equity in Russia." -- Adriana Petryna, author of Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl

In the first decade after the collapse of the Soviet Union, deteriorating public health indicators such as below-replacement fertility and high rates of sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, birth traumas, and maternal mortality raised acute anxieties about Russia's future. This study documents the efforts of global and local experts, and ordinary Russian women in St. Petersburg, to explain Russia's maternal health problems and devise reforms to solve them. Examining both official health projects and informal daily practices, Michele Rivkin-Fish draws ethnographic and theoretical insights about the contested processes of interpreting and managing neo-liberal transitions in Russia and explores the challenges of bringing anthropological insights to public health interventions for women's empowerment.

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Women's Social Activism in the New Ukraine

Development and the Politics of Differentiation

Sarah D. Phillips

In postsocialist Ukraine, with privatization and the scaling back of the social safety net, it is primarily women who have been left as leaders of service-oriented NGOs and mutual aid associations, caring for the marginalized and destitute with little or no support from the Ukrainian state. Sarah D. Phillips follows 11 activists over the course of several years to document the unexpected effects that social activism has produced for women: increasing social inequality and "differentiation" in the form of new cultural criteria for productive citizenship and new definitions of the rights and needs of various categories of citizens.

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Youth Politics in Putin's Russia

Producing Patriots and Entrepreneurs

Julie Hemment

Julie Hemment provides a fresh perspective on the controversial nationalist youth projects that have proliferated in Russia in the Putin era, examining them from the point of view of their participants and offering provocative insights into their origins and significance. The pro-Kremlin organization Nashi ("Ours") and other state-run initiatives to mobilize Russian youth have been widely reviled in the West, seen as Soviet throwbacks and evidence of Russia’s authoritarian turn. By contrast, Hemment’s detailed ethnographic analysis finds an astute global awareness and a paradoxical kinship with the international democracy-promoting interventions of the 1990s. Drawing on Soviet political forms but responding to 21st-century disenchantments with the neoliberal state, these projects seek to produce not only patriots, but also volunteers, entrepreneurs, and activists.

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