Organizing Women in Contemporary Russia
This book offers the first comprehensive analysis of the contemporary Russian women's movement and of the social, political, economic, historical, and international contexts that surround it. Valerie Sperling paints a vivid portrait of the women's movement's formation and development, paying particular attention to the key challenges facing a social movement in post-communist society, including the virtual absence of civil society, constant flux in political institutions, wrenching economic changes, and the movement's own status in a changing transnational environment. The author also addresses the specific challenges facing women's organizations by discussing societal attitudes towards feminism in Russia. Based on participant observation, primary source materials, and dozens of interviews conducted in Moscow (as well as two smaller Russian cities), the narrative brings alive the activists' struggle to build a social movement under difficult conditions, and sheds new light on the troubled and complex process of Russia's democratization.