How Do Networks of Mutual Aid Extinguish Poverty in Russia: Intergenerational Perspective

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Mayya SHMIDT, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation
Due to current economic crisis, the supply of resources that State can targetly spend on social transfers, diminishes. Targeting is disturbed, transactions are often directed to categories rather than households. Furthermore, the information about population incomes (judgments about who falls under the definition of poverty are based on this information) are often fictitious due to the shadowiness of labor activity. State can select the only operational definition of poverty, based on economic poverty measure. Networks, however, support families in need without taking into account their degree of recognition as such by the State. This paper departures from the assumption that actual wellbeing lies in the possibility of both social capital accumulation and inclusion in the social networks that provide ‘collective survival’, rather than in income level.

The objective of this contribution is to describe the patterns of extinguishing poverty by addressing reciprocal exchanges within social networks. Study provides explanatory models of legitimation of getting aid in the intergenerational perspective. Related to the general purpose, the main tasks to be accomplished could be confined to: (a)determine composition of resources, that circulate within the network of mutual aid and heterogeneous composition of donors and recipients; (b) determine differences in mobilization of networks to conquer poverty of its members depending on their age and causes of becoming poor (c) determine how does young adults and seniors legitimize eligibility for getting assistance. Thus, by presenting the qualitative descriptive model of exchange practices within contrasting age groups,this study gets a relatively novel picture of "web of reciprocity" that accompanies the daily life of the poor.