Babushki as Surrogate Wives: How Single Mothers and Grandmothers Negotiate the Division of Labor in Russia
Much like husbands and wives, single mothers and grandmothers struggle over the sharing of paid work and â€œsecond shiftâ€ responsibilities. Using in-depth interview and ethnographic data from Russia, this article applies elements of Hochschildâ€™s (1989) framework to illuminate sites of tension and reciprocity among single mothers and their childrenâ€™s grandmothers, or babushki, demonstrating that womenâ€™s negotiations across the generational divide resemble those between husbands and wives across the gender divide. However, the rules of reciprocity are relaxed, women seldom opt out of domestic work entirely, and conflicts lead to diminished support rather than â€œdivorce.â€ The author argues that both generational mothering ideologies and outer circumstances shape how women ultimately share responsibilities. When mothers and babushki pursue similar generational mothering strategies, conflict is minimized.
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- Lokshin, Michael & Mullan Harris, Kathleen & Popkin, Barry, 2000.
"Single mothers in Russia - household strategies for coping with poverty,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
2300, The World Bank.
- Lokshin, Michael & Harris, Kathleen Mullan & Popkin, Barry M., 2000. "Single Mothers in Russia: Household Strategies for Coping with Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2183-2198, December.
- Shireen Kanji, 2004. "The Route Matters: Poverty And Inequality Among Lone-Mother Households In Russia," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 207-225.
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