Grafting Pronatalism onto Housing Policy
This chapter examines the Russian government's attempts to graft a pronatalist agenda onto housing policy and how the pronatalist turn acquired specific meanings in the context of market transition, a cultural logic it terms “maternity capitalism.” Maternity capital provided starting capital for women and their families; investment capital for the housing market; and human capital for the nation. The state, by determining who deserved this capital and how it could be invested, claimed for itself the right to manage the macroeconomy of reproduction. If citizens endorsed the policy, the state could accrue symbolic capital, that is, legitimacy. This chapter places Russian pronatalism in comparative perspective before discussing maternity capital within the context of civic nationalism. It then considers the cultural logic of Russian pronatalism as well as the state's objectives in disbursing maternity capital. It also explores official discourses on the link between housing and fertility and concludes by highlighting how maternity capital fosters inequality in housing markets.
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