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Social citizenship, disability and welfare provision in contemporary Russia: views from below

Rasell, Michael (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This thesis uses an area studies approach to examine the complex relationship between citizenship, disability and welfare provision. It does so through a bottom-up analysis of how the state welfare system affects the everyday lives of physically disabled adults in contemporary Russia. Drawing on thirteen months of qualitative fieldwork in the city of Kazan, I study how tensions between guaranteeing rights and providing care are balanced in social provision. My focus on physical disability offers a sharp insight into the socially constructed tropes of control and exclusion that can mediate experiences of citizenship and also seeks to rectify the lack of research on disabled people in non-Western contexts, especially the postsocialist region.

My research is underpinned by a theoretical and methodological framework that sees ‘social citizenship’ as an explicitly relational, emotional and embodied phenomenon and therefore values lived experiences of welfare provision. Each of my four empirical chapters considers a particular dimension of citizenship: needs interpretation, livelihoods, mobility and personal agency. Together they highlight that welfare provision is not always empowering and can create powerful inequalities. At the same time, I show that citizenship is often reworked from below through actions and discourses that challenge official ideas about the capacities and needs of disabled people.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Cooper, Julian M and Kaneff, Deema
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Government and Society, Centre for Russian and East European Studies
Subjects:H Social Sciences (General)
HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
HT Communities. Classes. Races
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3190
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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