Study in social anthropology, social work, and sociology
Message from the Head of the Department
Dear friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the Department of Social Anthropology
and Social Work at Saratov State Technic University!
Social work as a profession and educational programme emerged in Russia in 1991 and it addresses a growing number of various social problems that occur along with contextual changes in Russian society, culture, and state social policy. The period of the 90s in Russia was a time of growth of social services in many ways. A wide network of social services was established under the aegis of the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. The Ministries of Education and Health Care have introduced positions of social pedagogues and social workers into regular and special education, hospitals and mental health centers. The Ministry of Youth, Sport and Tourism established centres of complex help for youth. The social workers' activities helps decrease social inequality, meet the needs of those people who happen to be on the periphery of society, in social isolation, whose rights are violated. Social work plays the role of an intermediate agency between individuals and social groups, private and public institutions. In the context of post-communist Russia, social work is an important partner with other professions, the State and private citizens in insuring that the common good in not neglected. The quality of social work largely depends on the level of the professionalism of those who perform their functions under the umbrella of the profession. Education and professional training of social workers is now established in more than 80 institutes of higher education all over Russia, including 62 universities. The quality of social work education has achieved high standards of performance through extensive national and international exchanges. The emergence of social work as a new educational discipline coincided with the restructuring of the social sciences and humanities in Russian universities. Current revival and development of social thought in Russia, supported by the Russian government as well as by private initiatives and international foundations, encouraged public discussion on the matters of social inequality, exclusionary practices and social problems.
At Saratov State Technic University (SSTU) social work education begun in 1991. The following programmes are offered today at the Department of Social Work: BSW, MSW, Graduate Diploma in Social Work (a five-year programme), Graduate Diploma in Social Anthropology, Candidate in Sociology, Doctorate in Sociology. The research interests of the faculty members are focused on social inequalities, exclusionary practices, youth cultures and subcultures, evaluation of social services, issues of unemployment, ageing, handicaps, gender relations and cultural representations. Gender studies were introduced
into the Master's degree curriculum in social work and in postgraduate education in sociology. The faculty members of the Department of Social Work publish textbooks according to the needs of students in the theory and practice of social work, sociology, and social anthropology.
Each year half of the approximately 25 graduates from the Department of Social Work continue their education in the Master's degree programme, several of them enter the postgraduate study programme in sociology. Other graduates work in a variety of sites including employment centres, centres of social service, rehabilitation centres, schools, pre-schools, insurance agencies, and the migration service.
Studies in Social Anthropology have been offered in Russian universities since 1995, and within the SW Department at SSTU since 1998. Students of all programmes are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities.
The Department of Social Work is a member of the Association of Social Services Employees, and collaborates with many Saratov agencies of social services, rehabilitation centres and NGOs, including women's organisations, and associations of people with disabilities. We also are members of the International and European Sociological Associations, the Russian Society of Sociologists, and Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development.
Please come share with us your experience in teaching and learning. We are looking for new ideas of collaborative projects in educational and research exchange.
With best wishes,
Dr. Elena Iarskaia-Smirnova