Ivan Zabaev 1, Elizaveta Kostrova 1, Mariia Goleva 2
  • 1 St.Tikhon's Orthodox University, 23-5A Novokuznetskaya St, Moscow, 115184, Russian Federation
  • 2 St. Tikhon’s Orthodox University, 23B, Novokuznetskaya str., Moscow, 115184, Russian Federation

Self-realization and Children: Logics of Space Usage in the Narratives of Russian Women

2022, vol. 21, No. 3, pp. 127–154 [issue contents]
Demographic issues inspire the steady interest of researchers. Therefore, a thesis about the interconnection of fertility decline with the spread of values of self-realization and individualization is still important. In this article, the mentioned interrelation is considered in the context of pragmatic and spatial turn in the social sciences. Analyzing interviews on family topics with Russian women (53 in-depth interviews conducted in 2008-2021), we found that categories of childbirth and self-realization are also interconnected with a spatial narrative. Three logics of space usage have been identified; these are “journey”, where a person sees an almost unlimited horizon of life strategies and abilities; then, “logistics” represents practices of organization of all family members due to the spatial distances between schools and other spaces for extracurricular activities, that is, places that ensure the self-realization of children. Finally, the metaphor “home” symbolizes the logic of the constant efforts of maintaining the integrity and unity of the domestic (or family) world as well as the balance between departures and arrivals. The values of self-realization are significant for all three types, but individualistic attitudes and behavior are clearly expressed only in “journey”. The metaphor “home” means that an individual corresponds his self-realization with the well-being of other family members. In case of “logistics”, a large construct of people, places, and relationships is created to provide the conditions for self-realization. All in all, this study suggests that the relationship between values and behavior of individuals (in particular, behavior related with childbirth) is more complicated than it often seems. The article suggests that various logics of using space allow us to see discrepancies between such seemingly tightly-connected things as building a family and having children (maximizing the number of children).
Citation: Zabaev I., Kostrova E., Goleva M. (2022) Samorealizatsiya i deti: logiki ispol'zovaniya prostranstva v narrativakh rossiyanok [Self-realization and Children: Logics of Space Usage in the Narratives of Russian Women]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 21, no 3, pp. 127-154 (in Russian)
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