Crisis Of Masculinity In Traditional Culture In The Context Of Economic Transformations


The masculinity crisis in the traditional culture is analyzed in the context of economic transformations on the example of Chechen society. As an actor of global social and cultural trends, it experiences effects of globalization processes. However, people continue to follow traditions of their ancestors. In this confrontation, there is a shift in the cultural strata of ethnic and universal, religious and secular, male and female. A sociological survey is one of the productive methods that provide quantitative data on the situation, a qualitative analysis allows us to identify factors of transformation of social reality. The study aims to analyze the role of women in Chechen society, in which the masculinity crisis takes place. The aim of the work is to study the masculinity crisis in the traditional culture in the context of economic transformations. The following tasks are solved: – to conduct a mass survey of respondents; – to analyze mass survey results. The study allowed the authors to confirm the initial hypothesis that the main problems of the modern world are becoming part of the Chechen society. In the conflict of the traditional and modern models of social-labor and social-family relations, family is changing.

Keywords: Masculinity crisiseconomic lifetraditional cultureeconomic transformation


The modern world is “a kaleidoscope of successive images of social objects” (Tikhomandritskaya & Melnikova, 2018, p. 187). To analyze it, the researcher has to pay attention to the logic of processes occurring in various societies. In the context of structuring “a multilayer culture with horizontal and vertical layers” (Bilalov & Akaev, 2019), problems determined by globalization transformations are identified. The problem of masculinity and its crisis became relevant in the second half of the 20th century in Western European and Russian literature. Cohn (2009) pays attention to the changed role of men in post-industrial society. The crisis of masculinity is caused by the economic life of society. There are many different studies on the masculinity crisis. Matlak (2014) writes that “the importance of correlations between two spheres seems to be underappreciated in scientific debates” (p. 367). A number of studies have been devoted to the social vulnerability of modern women and their economic rights (Silva, Gonçalvesa, & Sacramentoa, 2014). The problem of the masculinity crisis causes problems associated with the social and economic role of women in modern society.

Problem Statement

The article aims to describe the role of women in Chechen society, in which the masculinity crisis takes place.

Research Questions

Over the years of development of the Soviet government in Chechen society, a new type of women who took an active part in many socio-economic activities and are supported by the state through the social security system has developed (Elbuzdukaeva, 2012; Kurbanova, 2011). In general, the economic life had a nature of social justice and gender equality; representatives of the indigenous people had equal active rights in all social spheres. But the events of the 1990s have changed representatives of Chechen society. In modern Chechen Republic, various cultural types representing one ethnos coexist. Their views and lifestyles sometimes come into conflict. In the cultural context of Chechen society, the traditional character of interaction of men and women has been preserved. Men were given natural priority as fathers, husbands, brothers, sons. But the contemporary gender picture of Chechen society is experiencing a crisis caused by a conflict of cultural traditions and economic conditions.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the work is to study the crisis of masculinity of traditional culture in the context of economic transformations. The following tasks are set:

  • to conduct a mass survey of respondents;

  • to analyze mass survey results.

Research Methods

As part of the project “Labor and economic activity in the Russian Federation in a crisis”, a mass survey conducted in the Chechen Republic involved 100 people. The survey consisted of several blocks. The subject was questions about economic conditions for the interaction of the employee and the employer during the crisis, as well as the degree of economic activity of men and women. The main methods were as follows: a questionnaire survey, an analysis and synthesis which contributed to the collection of information and its analytical processing.

72 % of women and 28 % of men were surveyed.

The age structure: 18–64 year-old respondents: of which 18–24 year-old respondents – 22 %; 25–34 year-old respondents – 40 %; 35-44 year-old respondents – 16 %; 45–54 year-old respondents – 14 %; 55–64 year-old respondents – 6 %.

Education: 52 % of respondents had university degrees; 26 % of respondents had scientific degrees; 18 % of respondents were graduates from colleges; 4 % were graduate students.


Do you trust employers who promise high remuneration for your work?

68 % of respondents answered “yes, I trust the employer”; 22 % – “the concept of trust does not exist”; 8 % – “It is difficult to answer” (Table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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Some respondents said that labor contracts determine the degree of trust.

In your opinion, does work allow workers and employees to expand their knowledge?

80 % answered “Yes, it does”; 14 % – “I am very busy, I don’t have time to work on myself” (Table 02 ).

Table 2 -
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Today many employers hire people who can quickly learn. Do you think citizens of the republic meet this requirement?

72 % answered that they were ready; 18 % answered that they were not ready; 10 % of respondents found it difficult to answer (Table 03 ).

Table 3 -
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In modern teams, people who are capable of cooperation are of great value, other people want to work on their own. Are there such people among your acquaintances, friends?

84 % said that “in their teams, people capable of cooperation are of great value”; 8 % – "there are not so many people who want to work on their own." 8 % found it difficult to answer (Table 04 ).

Table 4 -
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As technology and market requirements change, many companies retrain their employees. Does your company follow this approach?

84 % said that “Yes, our management retrains employees”; 8 % – “No, they do not retrain staff”. 8 % found it difficult to answer (Table 05 ).

Table 5 -
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Before World War II, women made up a small percentage of workers. What do you think, what percentage of women are engaged in economic activities? (Write a number)

54 % of respondents found that 50 % of women are engaged in in economic activities; 16 % of respondents found that 60 % of women are engaged in in economic activities; 10 % of respondents found that 70 % of women are engaged in in economic activities. The opinions of other respondents were divided in the range from 1 to 80 % (Table 06 ).

Table 6 -
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What is your opinion: men have a higher degree of economic activity than women?

86 % of respondents said that “women are also economically active”; 10 % – "Yes, I believe that men are more active" (Table 07 ).

Table 7 -
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The traditional models of household labor division are quite simple: women took on most of the household work, and men supported their families. Is this division relevant?

82 % answered that “it is partially relevant”; 12 % – “not relevant”; 6 % – "relevant" (Table 08 ).

Table 8 -
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Does the principle male breadwinner remain in the modern family?

60 % answered “Yes, it does”; 34 % – “No, it does not”, other respondents found it difficult to answer (Table 09 ).

Table 9 -
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Are you working harder and faster today than before?

72 % of respondents said that “Yes, I do”; 26 % – “No, I do not”. 2 % said that they lack experience for an objective assessment of the situation (Table 10 ).

Table 10 -
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Some employers introduce “extended working hours.” What is your attitude to this issue?

90 % were against extended working hours because it affects their personal lives; 2 % of respondents were not against extended working hours if they are paid; 6 % found it difficult to answer; 2 % were for a free schedule (Table 11 ).

Table 11 -
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As more and more mothers with newborns work, the question arises of the long-term consequences of this trend, the impact on the well-being of children

38 % said that “this is the worst option because children suffer”; 36 % – “mothers with newborn children are forced to work because they lack material resources”; 18 % said that "this is normal behavior of modern young women"; 6 % found it difficult to answer; 2 % said that they did not encounter this problem and refrained from choosing an answer (Table 12 ).

Table 12 -
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The high percentage of respondents who answered that the principle “male breadwinner” is preserved in the modern Chechen family (Table 09 ) is due to personal experience of respondents, who represent the traditional type of family. The changes observed by a third of the respondents that the “male breadwinner” model does not work are due to a number of factors. Firstly, in the 1960s-1970s, a number of processes took place in the Chechen-Ingush Republic (formation of the national intelligentsia, the working class, working and student youth). Secondly, the Soviet ideology equalized the rights of women and men, and the Soviet government provided assistance to women who raised their children alone. Under these conditions, women who lived without breadwinners, worked in various fields.

As a result of these changes, partial urbanization of the people took place, territorial and cultural boundaries between the city and the village, urban and rural representatives of the indigenous population, contributed to the stratification of the people, complication of the mental portrait of one ethnos. Hybridization of mental characteristics contributed to the emergence of a new type of Chechen – “homo soveticus”, which differed from the traditional representative of the Chechen people (Betilmerzaeva, 2012).

Under these conditions, for a short period of time, a special type of Chechen woman developed. She took responsibility for her own social and professional wealth. In the 1990s, a new type of women appeared. It is a businesswoman who gained financial independence. In Chechen traditional culture, the woman always played an important role, being a “gray cardinal,” but temporary and material transformations brought a woman out of the shadows, which did not make her happy but contributed to the disclosure of her dominant nature. This type was assessed in a different way. Some men considered them an unconscious threat to their ego. Other men found an opportunity to benefit from social activities of such ladies. There is a stereotype, according to which the woman has to care about her family, but modern reality is different. Therefore, some men express their total dislike for the female independence. However, society needs a strong woman – mother, sister, daughter. In this controversial situation, the woman tries to combine professional and social roles without affecting the vanity of men. Each person is a carrier of a number of social roles whose fulfillment requires skills and wisdom.

Of course, according to Confucius and Plato, for a fair and successful life, the name should be in compliance with the nature of a person. According to the ancient Chinese man, “a ruler must be a ruler, a subject should be a subject, a father should be a father, a son should be a son” (Confucius, 1998). If there is no compliance, problems arise (Betilmerzaeva, 2017). The modern Chechen society is characterized by the tendency to maintain the “male breadwinner” model, but the globalization spirit sweeps away the relevance of this model. And the priority task for society is to combine traditional values and current needs.


This work was supported by the Russian Fund of Fundamental Research, project 19-011-31454 “Labor and economic activity in the Russian Federation in crisis conditions”.


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