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Gender and Choice Among Russia’s Upper Class

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Gender and Choice after Socialism
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This chapter explores how choice plays out for the rich in terms of gender. It asks to what extent the wealthy and the large majority of Russians experience the gender norms prevalent in Russia differently and examines life situations when even the rich have their life choices restricted. In the first part of the chapter, Russian men are the topic of analysis. This is followed by a brief discussion of two themes: intimate relationships and gendered upbringing. A third part deals with elite femininities, while the final part looks at some of the paradoxes observed among privileged homosexual men.

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    Ori Schwarz, ‘Cultures of choice: towards a sociology of choice as a cultural phenomenon,’ British Journal of Sociology, 2017.

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    This group totalled 170,000 millionaires in 2013 and 92,000 in 2015 after the rouble devaluation against the dollar. Markus Stierli, Anthony Shorrocks, James Davies, Rodrigo Lluberas and Antonio Koutsoukis, Global Wealth Report 2015, Credit Suisse Research Institute, Zurich: Credit Suisse AG, 2015.

  3. 3.

    See, for example, Ol’ga Kryshtanovskaia, Anatomiia Rossiiskoi Elity, Moskva: A.V., 2004.

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    In my approach I was inspired by the French sociologist Daniel Bertaux who collected life histories to study social mobility in post-Soviet Russia. Daniel Bertaux and Paul Thompson (eds), Pathways to social class: A qualitative approach to social mobility, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1997, and Daniel Bertaux, Paul Thompson and Anna Rotkirch (eds), Living Through Soviet Russia, London: Routledge, 2004.

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    Rumours which went round after a 2007 photo shoot of Putin with Prince Albert of Monaco that even Putin might be gay were apparently countered with a media campaign popularising his apparent girlfriend, the former Olympic champion Alina Kabaeva, he continues. See Matthias Shepp, ‘Author Claims Putin’s Pets His Best Friends,’ Der Spiegel, 2 December 2013, [accessed on 5 January 2017].

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    This is a historically tried and tested mode of survival for lesbians in Russia. See Francesca Stella, Lesbian lives in Soviet and post-Soviet Russia: post/socialism and gendered sexualities, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

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Schimpfössl, E. (2018). Gender and Choice Among Russia’s Upper Class. In: Attwood, L., Schimpfössl, E., Yusupova, M. (eds) Gender and Choice after Socialism. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-73660-0

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