Masculinities, Bodies and Subjectivities: Working-Class Men Negotiating Russia’s Post-Soviet Gender Order

  • Alexandrina Vanke
Part of the Global Masculinities book series (GLMAS)


This chapter considers the interrelation between masculinities, bodies and subjectivities of Russian working-class men generated by Russia’s post-Soviet gender order. The collapse of the Soviet Union led to large transformations in Russian society that changed its social structure significantly. During the period of transition, some social classes and groups, which had been sustained by the state and respected in Soviet times, were devalued and downshifted. Working-class people, especially men, experienced this downgrade in the greatest measure. Building on the approaches by Michel Foucault and Raewyn Connell, the chapter examines masculine subjectivities constituted through body and sexual practices of working-class men, and it explains the peculiarities of post-Soviet gender order reflecting Russia’s new forms of socioeconomic politics. The author defines several types of working-class masculinity, which are classic masculine subjectivity reproducing patterns of the Soviet gender order and trying to sustain a normative gender model; and new masculine subjectivity combining neoliberal and counter-neoliberal patterns which can be divided into consuming and protest masculinities.



I should like to thank my colleagues Irina Tartakovskaya for fruitful discussions on working-class masculinities and Charlie Walker for insightful comments that greatly improved this chapter. I also express my gratitude to the workers who agreed to participate in the research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandrina Vanke
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyState Academic University for the HumanitiesMoscowRussia

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