Medicine as a Fertility Dynamics Factor in Russia. The Religious Functions of Medicine

Project coordinator: Ivan Zabaev

Start: 2012

In contemporary world the Medicine (of western type) is becoming more and more popular. “Bio-power” is discussed as one of the current forms of power. Life of the human being becomes more and more medicalized, and this process touches such sphere of life as childbearing. In our research project ”Family and Child-bearing in Russia: categories of parental mind” we came to a conclusion, that the only legitimate position with whom parents (actual and potential ones) can discuss/share their problems and questions (not only medical ones) concerning childbearing (starting from the decision to have a child) is represented by a physician. A number of other studies suppose, that till recently such functions have been the function of a priest. Number of authors are sure, that the processes of secularization and medicalization are parallel. We can assume, that in contemporary society medicine performs some functions of religion. In this study we suppose to investigate, what these functions are and what kind of sequences for the human life follow from the medicine’s performing these or that religion’s functions (if there are any).

In 2012 we suppose to work out the conceptual and theoretical frame of the study and complete the preliminary data gathering and analysis (by means of qualitative sociology methods)