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Article

Infrastructural Breaks on the Road from Birth to Death in Contemporary Russia

1
Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology Russian Academy of Sciences, 119017 Moscow, Russia
2
Institute for Interdisciplinary Health Research, European University at Saint-Petersburg, 191187 Saint Petersburg, Russia
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Martin Hoondert, Joanna Wojtkowiak and Brenda Mathijssen
Religions 2021, 12(12), 1115; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121115
Received: 9 September 2021 / Revised: 13 November 2021 / Accepted: 17 December 2021 / Published: 20 December 2021
This paper addresses the problem of infrastructural breaks in two systems—the funeral market and maternity care. The authors analytically problematize how dysfunctions in the operation of these infrastructures shape the experiences of funeral and childbirth in contemporary Russia. The authors propose the conceptual model of the ‘rite of passage’, supplemented with the sociology of repair joint with the anthropology of infrastructures. Based on the ethnographic studies of the funeral market and maternity care (2015–2019), the authors uncover multiple infrastructural gaps and challenges that Russian families face while preparing for childbirth and funeral, especially in remote areas of the country. Empirical data of participant observations, in-depth and expert interviews demonstrated that continuous infrastructural failures can be considered to be an integral part of these life-cycle rituals, as both burial and maternity care arrangements never happen smoothly and unproblematically. In conclusion, the authors argue that necessity of “repairing” or patching the infrastructural gaps obtains self-sufficient symbolic meanings that possess ontological features. View Full-Text
Keywords: infrastructural breaks; sociology of repair; life-cycle rituals; funeral market; maternity care infrastructural breaks; sociology of repair; life-cycle rituals; funeral market; maternity care
MDPI and ACS Style

Mokhov, S.; Novkunskaya, A.A. Infrastructural Breaks on the Road from Birth to Death in Contemporary Russia. Religions 2021, 12, 1115. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121115

AMA Style

Mokhov S, Novkunskaya AA. Infrastructural Breaks on the Road from Birth to Death in Contemporary Russia. Religions. 2021; 12(12):1115. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121115

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mokhov, Sergei, and Anastasia Andreevna Novkunskaya. 2021. "Infrastructural Breaks on the Road from Birth to Death in Contemporary Russia" Religions 12, no. 12: 1115. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel12121115

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