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Federal Center of Theoretical and Applied Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences
This article is dedicated to analyzing the construct of masculinity in the culture of modern Russia’s new working class. While leaning on an intersectional perspective, it considers practices of producing its plural forms in everyday interaction, as well as persistent structures of social inequality which secure gender order on an institutional level. The article conducts an analytical overview of relevant foreign studies on the working class’ modes of masculinity in the postindustrial era. An empirical study of young representatives of the new working class residing in the Ural federal district helped determine the most common structures of gender order in domestic life and in the workspace: standard male social roles, stereotypical everyday fulfillment of male gender roles, gender restrictions and privileges. It has been revealed that a persistent structural disproportion between various sectors of the economy, when it comes to wages and the gender composition of the workforce, determines the transmission of the standard tendency for reproducing the pattern of a “man-provider”, who possesses power in the family based on his control over economic resources. Young working class individuals are still interested in preserving and supporting a patriarchal model of distributing household labor. While women are assigned types of activity which require routine execution at a strictly defined time, men assume chores which can be done sporadically, and can be postponed, which provides them with more leisure time. While evaluating the importance of everyday communication rituals, it was established that young women seek to preserve a traditional pattern of gender interaction more so than young men. The results of the study show a distinction between the expectations of young men and women when it comes to standard everyday gender communication: for the most part, young men still lean towards a model of hegemonic masculinity within the working class, while young women, who support the idea of preserving a patriarchic social order, are prepared to assume their gender role within it provided that they receive financial support and protection on behalf of their men. Indirect signs of hegemonic masculinity are not considered by them to be relevant.
working class, working-class youth, masculinity, gender, gender regime, hegemonic masculinity
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