Problems of social policy at the present stage.

The social sphere of the life of society is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon, in which the interests of social groups that differ in sex, age, and position intersect.

This explains the presence of a wide range of social policy problems. Let’s consider some of them.

The first problem is the problem of the feminization of social policy.

It can be defined as an increase in the share of women in a particular area in comparison with their share in the general population. In our country, the number of women varies greatly in different age groups. In other words, speaking of feminization, we must remember that in our country it has objective grounds related to differences in life expectancy of different gender groups.

But there are other reasons for the process of feminization of certain spheres of public life. The key one is gender stratification, which exists in almost all countries of the world. Due to the dominance of patriarchal attitudes in the public consciousness, a woman is perceived as something secondary to the sphere of non-family relations, including the labor market. In practice, social policy results in activities to ensure minimum social standards, and the main of them is the subsistence level. Another focus of social policy is work with socially weakened groups. But the transformation of social policy into assistance and social protection only for the disadvantaged inevitably leads to its feminization, since economically gender stratification works in favor of men.

Differences in life expectancy lead to the feminization of old age. The crisis of the institution of the family and the increase in the number of divorces gives us another very feminized and socially weakened group – incomplete families of single mothers. Of course, there are always exceptions, but for the most part it is women who are the main clients of state social services. Moreover, most of them recognize and consider the subordination of their position and demonstrate a paternalistic psychology in relation to both men and the state. Recognition of reproduction processes is less significant than processes in the economy, leading to a decrease in the status of social policy in a number of other types of state policy. This lays the foundation for her feminization.

However, this is a two-way process. It has long been noted that an increase in the number of women in any field leads to a decrease in its prestige. A good example is public education. Conversely, an increase in prestige encourages an influx of men, such as economic activities. Thus, it can be stated that the feminization of social policy in our country is an objective fact that has serious negative consequences.

From the point of view of the object of social policy, this is the exclusion from the sphere of its influence of another gender group – men. This is a practical problem, since there are people among men who need social assistance.

Thus, the scientific side of the problem of feminization is the need to revise the very model of state social policy due to its stigmatizing nature and focus only on the most needy.

The very criteria for assessing the need for state assistance and their perception in the public mind should be called into question.

The problems of social policy in local governments are characterized by the state of the Russian population. Today, society has crossed the border of an acceptable decline in the living standards of the bulk of the population in virtually all respects. It is no secret that there have long been two Russias – rich and poor, and the difference in the income level of the first and second is hundreds of times different, so it is almost impossible to talk about some average Russian or about mutual understanding of the first and second.

This circumstance should largely determine the social strategy at all levels of government, and, perhaps, especially at the municipal level, since only local self-government bodies (LSGs) know the real situation “on the ground”, only they work daily with the population, and, therefore, only they are able to ensure that targeting in their social actions, about which they talk so much at the “higher levels of power”.

But again, this is in theory, but in practice our municipalities have not yet become full-fledged local communities capable of solving a range of social (and not only social) problems.

Almost all the activities that local governments are required by law to engage in can be classified as “works” or “services”. But far from all of them are produced (performed, rendered) now in full and with proper quality. The reasons for this are clear:

. too short a period of existence of local self-government in its modern form,

. imperfection of the legislative base,

. insufficiency of labor and financial resources, etc.

There is a profound difference between the organization of a service and its production. The authorities make decisions about what services are provided to whom and how they are paid for. But she is not obliged to produce these services by the forces of state or municipal employees and on state (municipal) equipment; the task of the authority is not to deliver services, but to organize their delivery, which means:

determination of the range, quality and quantity of services required by the population;

involvement of a service provider (on the basis of an agreement, by establishing benefits and privileges, by other means);

provision of budgetary financing of services.

But often the activities of municipalities show that they cannot distinguish between the functions of the customer, supplier and organizer of a particular service.

Social services are currently provided by state (municipal) bodies, voluntary and charitable organizations, private firms on market terms and through state (municipal) contracts.

For example, not only the authorities and the individual (consumer) himself, but also a public association can act as an organizer of public services. But in order for individuals to unite, they must have a significant common interest. It may be geographic or otherwise.

The support of the authorities should be expressed in the provision of tax benefits to residents who have taken on additional services, the targeting of the subsidies provided (which, by the way, they are already trying to do in relation to subsidies for the provision of housing and communal services to low-income citizens), or by increasing tax deductions by the municipality itself. Along with the practical meaning, these measures are of great direct social significance, restoring social justice, initially violated by the still existing scheme to support the needy.

Another rather important problem of social policy is the problem of social inequality not so much of citizens as of regions of the Russian Federation.

If the inequality of the population is an eternal and unsolvable problem, then the problem of the inequality of regions in the Russian Federation is quite new. What does this problem need to be solved, since it is it that has the strongest influence on the implementation of social policy. After all, if the region is “rich”, then the implementation mechanisms work quite effectively in it, and if the region is “poor”, then these mechanisms either do not work at all or do not work productively enough. And all this ultimately affects the well-being of the population.

Let us consider the problem of inequality in more detail.

As a rule, its contours are extremely broad and blurred, but the general imperative remains unchanged – the current situation needs to be leveled. It is extremely important to distinguish between economic and social inequality, although they are related. But it must be admitted that reducing the economic inequality of regions is impossible without objectively existing or “cultivated” advantages that reduce business costs.

It is impossible to create new oil fields (although they can be discovered), it will not be possible to build seaports without the sea, but the improvement of human capital and institutions is in the power of the state and society, but this requires persistent and long-term work. Human capital is formed through the development of social services, so the most important task is to reduce not the economic, but the social inequality of the regions, because only the accumulated human capital ensures sustainability and high quality growth.

Consequently, in the social sphere, the imperative of mitigation (the term “leveling” is no longer used even by representatives of the authorities, realizing that it is not realizable) of territorial differences is undeniable.

Thus, it turns out that the above problems of social policy to some extent influence the mechanisms of its implementation.

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