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eBook Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding ePub

eBook Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding ePub

by Sally W. Stoecker,Tanya Sudakova,Clementine K. Fujimura

  • ISBN: 0275979091
  • Category: Social Sciences
  • Subcategory: Politics
  • Author: Sally W. Stoecker,Tanya Sudakova,Clementine K. Fujimura
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Praeger (September 30, 2005)
  • Pages: 184
  • ePub book: 1754 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1223 kb
  • Other: rtf txt lit azw
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 762

Description

Clementine K. Fujimura (Author), Sally W. Stoecker (Author), Tanya Sudakova (Author) & 0 more. Fujimura has written an intense and powerful book.

Clementine K. ISBN-13: 978-0275979096. In addition to providing a disturbing portrait of Russia's abandoned children, the book's great merit is found in the author's insights about the cultural meaning of child abandonment in Russia. Smith College Studies in Social Work.

Stoecker also teaches courses on child homelessness and exploitation, and juvenile crime.

She received her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago and has been writing about Russia's homeless children, abandonment, and its cultural concept of childhood since 1991. She has received numerous grants and fellowships in support of her work on homeless children in Russia. Stoecker also teaches courses on child homelessness and exploitation, and juvenile crime.

Russia's Abandoned Children book. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Start by marking Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding as Want to Read: Want to Read saving. Start by marking Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read.

Items related to Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding. Clementine K. Fujimura; Sally W. Stoecker; Tanya Sudakova Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding. ISBN 13: 9780275979096. She received her doctorate in cultural anthropology from the University of Chicago and has been writing about Russia's homeless children, abandonment, and its cultural concept of childhood since 1991.

Do you want to read the rest of this article? Request full-text. Abandoned by their parents, who were adamantly discouraged from visiting their children so as to not inflict more pain on them, orphans were further ostracized from the rest of society and forced to survive the brutality of staff members who treated them as social misfits doomed to fail in the future (EveryChild, 2005;Fujimura, 2005;Hunt, 1998). Fujimura (Author). View Sally W. Stoecker's profile. Sally W. Stoecker (Author). Tatyana Sudakova (Author). Fujimura takes us across history and into Russian society, its orphanages and shelters, and along the streets of the nation to see how abandoned children are stigmatized and shunned. Readers come to understand how and why these children, left orphans by death or by choice, form their own culture to find power and to survive.

Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding more. and Clementine Fujimura. Official and Unofficial Culture: The US Navy Clementine K. Fujimura The United States (US) Navy, like the other military services, distinguishes itself from the civilian United States in its specific beliefs and behavior. Publication Date: Jan 1, 1999.

Russia's Abandoned Children: An Intimate Understanding. Fujimura, Sally W. Stoecker, Tatyana Sudakova. Acknowledgments Introduction: Entering the Doorway to Abandoned Russia Institutionalized, Neglected Orphans Victims of a Failed System, or Cold Cultural Beliefs? Many Forms of Abandonment Moscow'. More). By Clementine K. Fujimura with Sally W. Stoecker and Tatyana Sudakova. viii, 176 pp. Appendix.

Based on direct observation of and interviews with abandoned children, this work shows why any effort to rescue these children calls for a deep understanding of Russian culture, and why any effort to affect abandonment in Russia calls for a joint effort between psychologists, social workers, and the children themselves.

Fujimura takes us across history and into Russian society, its orphanages and shelters, and along the streets of the nation to see how abandoned children are stigmatized and shunned. Readers come to understand how and why these children, left orphans by death or by choice, form their own culture to find power and to survive. This pioneering work on child abandonment looks at Russian society from a new angle: from the perspectives of abandoned youngsters and their caretakers. Based on direct observation of and interviews with abandoned children, this work shows why any effort to rescue these children calls for a deep understanding of Russian culture, and why any effort to address abandonment in Russia calls for a joint effort between psychologists, social workers, and the children themselves.

Researcher Fujimura takes us across history, into Russian society, its orphanages and shelters, and along the streets of the nation to see how abandoned children are stigmatized and shunned. We also come to understand how and why these children, left orphans by death or by choice, form their own culture to find power and to survive. This pioneering work on child abandonment looks at Russian society from a new angle: from the perspectives of abandoned youngsters and their caretakers. Based on direct observation of and interviews with abandoned children, this work shows why any effort to rescue these children calls for a deep understanding of Russian culture, and why any effort to affect abandonment in Russia calls for a joint effort between psychologists, social workers, and the children themselves.

Comments

Getaianne Getaianne
This book is not about adoption. That's why adoption isn't in the title.

It details why there are so many orphaned children, why the problem can't be solved simply by throwing money in the system, and what fate these children await as they grow into adulthood. It contains very detailed personal encounters with street children that you can't find anywhere else. No one has taken the journey this author has and devoted the time to write about.
Silverbrew Silverbrew
I wrote this review for a class on youth in Russia. I thought I should share...

Based on field work conducted in Russia in 1990-91 and in 1999, Fujimura's book's main thesis (which is spread mainly across the first three chapters) is that Russian culture is, to a great degree, responsible for the pitiful state of abandoned children in that country. Though the author does not explicitly single out Russian culture for criticism, it is clear that she does not think this thesis applies to most other countries, were "non-cultural" reasons for child neglect prevail:

"While many countries experience homelessness, not all of them have the same reasons for their homeless children. For some countries, economic circumstances are mainly to blame. For others, war or HIV infection is the primary cause. In Russia, cultural attitudes, how people subconsciously feel about and ultimately react to homelessness, (...) are equally important to understanding the plight of orphans and street children." (31)

The first part of the author's thesis is that, in fact, most Russians' ideas of childhood resemble Tolstoy's idealized writings about it. Often quoting the writer himself, many Russians describe this time of life as one characterized by happiness, innocence, and carefreeness. Fujimura confirms what her subjects have reported in interviews by observing overprotective grandmothers and mothers playing with their children and grandchildren in the parks and playgrounds of Moscow, cuddling them, delighting in their every move, and keeping them warm.
The second part of Fujimura's thesis attempts to explain "why a society that traditionally idealizes childhood is finding it difficult to understand and save the children most in need" (83) i.e. those who are abandoned. Her argument is that "from an anthropological perspective, the problem runs on a sociocultural level." (83) The elements in Russian culture that contribute to the low living standards of abandoned children, according to the anthropologist, include the Russian belief that children can only be as good as their parents. "The disdain is accompanied by low expectations, discrimination, and alienation, all part of a larger understanding of orphans as genetically deficient, as having bad blood." (19) This, coupled with the fact that women who cannot conceive are considered incomplete, and the belief that "not one's own, ne svoi, will never... feel the way svoi [one's own] would" (84) are the main reasons why, according to the author, Russians do not tend to adopt their own. The stereotype of bad blood is reinforced because the orphans are often forced into petty theft and prostitution.
While the belief that orphans are somehow innately deficient is well supported by Fujimura's field research, other elements in Russian culture that she points out as responsible for the indifference society feels towards abandoned children seem like a stretch. The author claims that an "emphasis on suffering as intrinsic to 'Russianness' has assisted the growing crisis of homelessness" because it "prevents them [Russians] from being able to reach out to others." (43-44) In other words, since Russians see suffering as an inevitable part of being Russian, their empathy is very limited. Fujimura's comment that Russian's act on the premise "If no one cares for me, then I cannot be bothered with others or anything not personal" (61) is not only unsubstantiated but also unnecessarily hurtful.
Anthropology has long been criticized for its lack of cultural sensitivity and its pro-Western bias. Clearly, the work of cultural anthropologist Celementine Fujimura cannot be exempt from this criticism. In a typical manner for the field, the researcher portrays the foreign culture she explores as static and entrenched. Her descriptions are sometimes deeply offensive. "The average Russian's perspective on daily life", according to Fujimura, "is perhaps quite unlike anything a Westerner has ever considered... This adult life... does not question the future, is one that has no space for thoughts about tomorrow, but rather is one that is bound to the here and now and compelled by a need for immediate gratification" (vodka). (73) Beyond their offensiveness, caricature-like descriptions of this kind are unhelpful to understanding Russia's abandoned children. Throughout the text the author makes broad generalizations of the kind that seem to include every Russian citizen, for example: "Russians also believe that purity and innocence are not automatically conferred upon every child" (17).
On top of Fujimura's criticisms of Russians as people who lack empathy for even the most unfortunate ones, her portrayal of Russians as opposed to Westerners seems even harsher and more biased because the author (partly without realizing it, one can assume) constantly compares herself to Russian caretakers as being over-compassionate and much more caring than them. The effect is especially powerful because she addresses the reader directly and in the present tense: "Some cry. Why aren't they being held? They are crying! Response: We do not have enough staff to hold they, so they get held when they are fed." (2) "Against the advice of the teachers at the orphanage, I had to reach back to the children and pick them up." (6) "I go to the pen, and put one hand on one tummy, the other on another tummy, and whisper, 'It's okay. Everything is okay.'" (14) "I ask if I may hold them; perhaps I could come on a weekly basis, just to hold them? It would be good for them, I know, as I am a mother too: Babies need to be held!" (142) One must wonder why Fujimura made the decision of including all of these personal comments, which, though evocative, are not informational. Obviously, the researcher, as opposed to many of the caretakers, chooses to be at the orphanage. The difference in the women's moods and their relationship with the children is more than understandable.
The intended audience of this book is, without any doubt, Westerners, probably Americans, and the book is probably meant more for the average reader than the professional scholar. In the introduction the author mentions, for example, that "as we analyze the reasons for inequality in Russia, we learn more about what motivates inequality in the United States," (9) which makes it seem like she is in fact talking to an American audience. She also mentions that "the suffering in Russia has only recently been brought to the attention of the West" (9), so we can assume her work attempts to do just that.
Perhaps the emotive character of the narrative stems partly from a "hidden" agenda: getting Western families (the readers) to adopt Russian children. Chapter 7, which covers the "Options for the Abandoned Child" after he/she leaves the orphanage, present adoption as the only decent alternative, compared to the military, crime, prostitution, and prison. The author even takes time to give the reader some adoption advice, and dispelling two adoption "myths." In the conclusion, when the author talks about her returning to the orphanage and inquiring about several of the kids' fates, all three of the healthy kids she mentions have been adopted by American or Canadian families and living happier lives abroad. The very last paragraph in the book leaves the reader wondering about the fate of Kolya "the boy with great hopes of being adopted in the United States, [who] is nowhere to be found" (149). Fujimura's memory of him is filled with American childhood imagery: the child gets to celebrate Halloween with the researcher's family and to go trick-or-treating with her sons. In the end, the author has done a good job at reaching her audience. In Amazon, a bookstore online, one can see that "customers who bought this [book] also bought" several Russian adoption books, ranging from "Mishka: An Adoption Tale" to "When I met You: A Story of Russian Adoption".
Despite its shortcomings, the book does give the reader some insight into the life of orphans in Russian public institutions. The value of this monograph lies more in the field work behind it (the interviews and first hand observations) than in the power of the author's analysis. Despite of what the title claims, however, the book does not offer an "intimate understanding" of either the lives of abandoned children, their families, their caretakers, or Russia's public institutions which are in charge of these minors.
kolos kolos
International adoption is a hot and relevent topic these days. Russia is a destination for many. So, any information about adopting from Russia and therefore its orphanage system, might be helpful and useful for those considering the country. However, this is not the book to offer any insight or educated, integrated, defensibly researched understanding of what you will be facing. Or even of what the book purports to explain. Unfortunately, this is a text compiled at about a B- grade level of a sophomore level research paper at a third tier university. Written by a diplomat's wife in collaboration with two others, I can almost see the disjointed quotes, on the index cards. Certainly not the "pioneering work on child abandonment" it purports to be.