Dr Lynne Attwood - Research
Areas of Research: Gender issues in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia; representations of women in the Russian media; Soviet cinema; housing. My latest publication is a monograph called Gender and Housing in Soviet Russia: Public Life in a Private Space (MUP, 2010). It explores early Soviet ideas on the kind of housing which was appropriate in a socialist society, and how these were influenced by attitudes towards gender relations, the family, and 'daily life'. It discusses the ways in which gender relations were, in turn, influenced by housing. It also shows how Soviet ideology on gender, combined with the peculiarities of Russian urban housing, continually complicated the traditional distinction between male/public and female/private space.
Most recent research project: the housing situation in post-Soviet Russia, The mass privatisation of state housing which has taken place over the past two decades has resulted in a generation of Russians finding themselves in a unique position in relation to housing; while subsequent generations will only acquire privately owned housing by inheriting it from parents or grandparents or by buying it on the private market, those who lived in state-owned accommodation have been given their apartments by the state. Through a combination of open-ended questionnaires, in-depth interviews and media analysis, I explored Russian attitudes towards both this privatisation programme , and private ownership of housing per se, and the extent to which private ownership influences people's ideas about 'home', their attitudes towards the authorities, and their understanding of social responsibility. I also explored the impact which housing has on demography.
Current research project:
I am currently working with Olga Isupova, of the Institute of Demography In Moscow, on changing attitudes on the part of Russian women towards family and children, and the emergence of a 'Childfree' movement in Rusia.