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Cultural Code of Single Motherhood in Russia and Britain: Design of the Project and Preliminary Results

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Victoria Pratt.

You are cordially invited to an online presentation by Dr Dmitrii Sergeev, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, to introduce his project, ‘Evolving Attitudes toward Single Motherhood in the UK and Russia’.

Wednesday, 27 October 5:30pm

Meeting ID: 945 8427 1611 
Password: 853832

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The presentation will draw attention to the whole design of this transdisciplinary project, paying particular attention to its theoretical foundation. The lecturer will also discuss the findings on the formation of a cultural code of single motherhood in postwar Russia through the analysis of fiction. The cultural code of single motherhood has been forged in a contradictory environment. Though officially accepted since the 1944 law, Soviet single mothers found themselves in an ambiguous context. On the one hand, single Soviet women were urged by the state and official propaganda to give birth. On the other hand, under pressure of traditional family values they felt despised by the traditional family values. The code was reconstructed through the analysis of twelve short stories published between 1959 and 1984. The code itself was centred around eleven meaning facets which conspicuously show its genesis, structure and function.

Since gaining his PhD in 2015, Dmitrii Sergeev has primarily focused on cultural meaning and its dependence on social determinants and cultural variables, analysing culture-related processes of meaning-making and the development of new forms of cultural texts. He investigates how cultural codes and production of cultural texts function within a particular social group that is underrepresented. His research visit to the Laboratory for Social Anthropology of the Collège de France in 2011 enhanced his knowledge of modern methodology applied in sociological research. His interest in illustrated literature with its connection to societal and cultural development stemmed from his study at the University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin in 2013. He questioned the fact of the emergence of illustrated children’s literature particularly with its connection to social and historical contexts. This led him to develop a theory of pragmasemantic behaviour which enriched the analytical instrumentation with new approaches, particularly, the sociology of the text and social semiotics. Later he linked the studies of illustrated texts and culturally underrepresented groups. His findings have been disseminated in three monographs, two published by the Russian Academy of Science, as well as in internationally peer-reviewed journals, such as Russian Studies in Philosophy, Universe of Russia, Sociological Studies. His paper in the Sociological Studies Journal on the pragmasemantic theory through the emergence of children’s picturebooks was recognized as the best publication of 2016 in the “New Approach in Social Analysis” nomination category. He has conducted long-term research topics as a member of two research teams and headed three projects financially supported by grants from the Federal Government of the Russian Federation. In 2018 he worked on the development of syllabus of the “History of Children’s Picturebooks in the United States” in the Fulbright Faculty Development Program at Illinois State University.

Selected Publications Sergeev D.V. (2020) Sociologization of Human Studies: Searching for Children’s Picturebook Definition. Sociological Studies. No 2. P. 96 -104. Sergeev D.V. (2019) What Are We Reading? Toward A Definition of the Children’s Picturebook. Children’s Readings: Studies in Children’s Literature. 15:1. P. 400-415. Sergeev D.V. (2016) Microsociology of Text: Factors of Pragmasemantic Behaviour Functioning. Sociological Studies. No 7. P. 92-100. Sergeev D.V. (2015) Meaning. Behaviour. Social Strategies. Chita: TrSU Press. Sergeev D.V. (2015) Crisis of Cultural Meaning Representation in a Contemporary Sociocultural Context. Humanitarian Vector. 42:2. P. 35-39. Sergeev D.V. (2012) Cultural Peculiarities of Russian Society Development at the Beginning of 21st Century: Recurrent Culture, Archaization and Invented Archaic History. Universe of Russia. 21:3. P. 100-118. Sergeev D.V. (2011) Semantic Strategies to Overcome Cultural Crisis in Social Consciousness. Russian Studies in Philosophy. No. 10. P. 28-36. Trubitsyn D.V., Dorogavtseva I.S., Sergeev D.V. (2011) Cultural Crisis and Modernization: Tendencies of Social Consciousness Development in Today’s Russia. Novosibirsk: Science. Sergeev D.V. (2009) Ontology of Cultural Meaning. Novosibirsk: Science.

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