Чайлдфри или добровольно бездетные? К переопределению концептуального поля исследований не-родительства в России

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The essay is an attempt to distinguish between the semantic notion of "childfree" and that of "voluntary childlessness" taking into account the Russian specifics. The author consistently describes socio-political content of the Russian research field emphasizing the conservative pro-natal trends of the recent years. The paper considers the origins of the conceptual field of non-parenthood and the evolution of the related research area. For the first time in the Russian-language scientific literature, the National Organization of Non-Parents, a key actor in childfree activism, is described in detail. In addition, based on the data of a survey conducted in 2014-2016, the author examines the "chayldfri" (childfree) category and the notion of "dobrovolnaya bezdetnost" (voluntary childlessness) internalized in the Russian-language discourse. The author also outlines the semantic points framing these notions and leveling off the tendency to equate these notions in the everyday and scientific discourses. By criticizing the use of the childfree notion in the Russian-language practice, the author proposes to apply the notion of voluntary childlessness as the latter one is wider, more fundamental and less complex semantically. The article also explores the widely used notion of "childhate" and the phenomenon of regretting parenthood. The author offers a heuristically valuable alternative to each of them. In conclusion, the author redefines the notions discussed in the article and proposes a conceptual framework for further research on voluntary childlessness in the Russian context.


  • Ilya V. Lomakin
External organisations
  • National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Specific Languages
  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)


  • Childfree, Childhate, Concepts, Intended childlessness, Intentional childlessnes, Non-parenthood, Regretting parenthood, Reluctant parents, Voluntary childlessness
Translated title of the contributionChildfree or voluntarily childless? Redefining the conceptual field of studies on non-parenthood in Russia
Original languageRussian
Pages (from-to)394-436
Number of pages43
JournalMonitoring Obshchestvennogo Mneniya: Ekonomicheskie i Sotsial'nye Peremeny
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch