From Inclusion to Exclusion: Barriers to the 'Formal' Post-Soviet Russian Labour Market
IJED, Vol. 6 No. 2, (2004)
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union everyday life for many Russian middle-aged men has become extremely uncertain. This article explores the difficulties such men face in St. Petersburg in their attempts to negotiate the new economies that have sprung up since the dismantling of the command economy system. The research is based on qualitative research conducted in 2003 amongst middleaged men operating within the city’s informal economies. The article demonstrates that such men are often forced to operate in informal economies, which provide for a very low standard of living, due to the barriers they face when trying to enter the ‘formal’ economy. The paper then goes on to examine how the government conceptualizes such actions and, in turn, how it denies many of this group access to welfare benefits. To conclude the article analyses the social outcomes of this marginalization and argues that there is little prospect of everyday life significantly improving for this sector of society in the foreseeable future.