Difficult Life Situations Viewed by Older Generation of Russians
Keywords:disabled persons, liberalism, alcoholism, drug addiction, single mothers, retired persons, troubled families, social policy, social services, older generation, telephone survey, difficult life situation.
AbstractThe article presents results of all-Russian opinion survey among older people (sample: 1600) conducted in spring 2013. The term difficult life situation that is widely used in the government social programs is considered from liberal position. The author assesses the prevalence and visibility of different social groups attributed by Russian government as having difficult life situation; these groups involve disabled persons, lonely elderly persons, low income single mothers, alcohol addicts, persons released form prisons, regular drug users, and persons living in troubled families. The author proposes a new interpretation of difficult life situation and actual need for social assistance. Despite massive budget allocations to social sector most of people do not see any government support for those who are in difficult life situation. The study reveals that almost two-thirds of respondents tackle difficulties on their own and do not get any assistance from the government because their life situations are not guided by the existing regulations. Unclear information policy and emphasized material help have formed and strengthened the paternalistic expectations of people and provoked growing discontent over social policies. Prevailing bureaucratic reporting and public opinion which is always taken into account should be abandoned when elaborating and assessing the effectiveness of social policy which is a source of tension today
STATE AND SOCIETY