Kanji, Shireen (2009). Age group conflict or cooperation? Children and pensioners in Russia in crisis. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 29(7-8)
Purpose -- This research aims to illustrate the differential treatment of children and pensioners in Russia and to explain why this has not led to age group conflict through an illustration of age group interdependency. Design/methodology/approach -- Age group conflict is revealed through analysis of the government's policies to age groups and expenditure preferences. Interdependency is analysed by the calculation of poverty rates and contribution of age specific benefits, using nationally representative sample survey data. Findings -- The Russian government treated pensioners preferentially to children, even though children were at higher risk of poverty. However, within each age group poverty rates are mediated by household structures. Pensioners who live with children face higher poverty rates than the average for pensioners and those who co-reside with lone mothers face the highest poverty rates of all pensioners, while their pension contribution to the household is of vital significance. Children living with one grandparent face higher poverty rates than average, whereas and those living with two grandparents face lower poverty rates. Research limitations/implications -- The structure of intergenerational relationships and financial solidarity between generations provide essential context for understanding individual welfare in Russia. Practical implications -- Children's downgraded status in Russian society needs to be urgently addressed. Lone mothers, their children and their parents face the highest poverty rates and need of support. Amongst pensioners, women pensioners are particularly at risk. Originality/value -- The originality is in using two opposing perspectives on relations between age groups to show that preferential treatment of pensioners coexists with a high degree of financial linkage between generations. Adapted from the source document.
International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy