The case study on which this article is based forms part of this collection of 'exceptional' snapshots which, I would argue, challenge some of the premises of the 'bigger picture'. This is a case study of the Altai Regional Crisis Centre for Men, an innovative centre working on a broad range of social welfare issues, targeted in this instance at supporting men. This Crisis Centre, located in Barnaul, Western Siberia, offers a range of support services and access to advice and facilities for men which is unprecedented locally and has very few international equivalents. This case study therefore aims to do two things: to present an example of good practice emanating from Russian academic research and practical experience, and to challenge some of the views of men's experiences of and responses to post-Soviet change which have become established. This research is based upon an analysis of shifting media and social discourses about what it means to be a man, the impact of change upon men's position within the family, the workplace and society, and men's understandings of and responses to these developments. Ethnographic fieldwork has been carried out in two provincial centres: a small district town and its surrounding villages in Kaluga region, south-west of and bordering Moscow region, and the city of Barnaul in Altai region, which lies beyond the Urals and borders Kazakhstan and Mongolia. © 2004 University of Glasgow.
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