Social exclusion of migrant women in Russia. How ethnicity, gender and class work together as excluding mechanisms?

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Larisa Shpakovskaya


Abstract: The article deals with the gender and class aspects of mechanisms of exclusion and barriers to access to public services  for migrants from former Soviet national republics in contemporary Russia, with a focus on Armenian women's practices of using the healthcare and pre-school care services. The author analyzes institutional and cultural barriers to access to  services. Institutional barriers are created by legal status of migrants. The absence of citizenship presents a constraint on obtaining public medical services. Use of pre-school care services (kindergarten) contradicts   the gender culture shared by Armenian women. These cultural barriers are discussed in the context of migrants' gender culture.  Gender culture is conceptualized through the concept of the gender paradigm as a main cultural code providing meaning to women's everyday practices. For Armenian women the gender paradigm is described as patriarchy. Social exclusion and strategies of coping with the patriarchy also have the class dimension. Institutional barriers are overcome using economic and social resources of migrants. The norms of patriarchal gender culture are interpreted pragmatically and are less rigid among educated classes.

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