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Living Faithfully in an Unjust WorldCompassionate Care in Russia$
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Melissa L. Caldwell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285835

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285835.001.0001

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The Business of Being Kind

The Business of Being Kind

(p.156) 6 The Business of Being Kind
Living Faithfully in an Unjust World

Melissa L. Caldwell

University of California Press

If the activities of Moscow’s faith communities represent new approaches to public service in Russia, they have also inspired new modes of economic activity. In Russia’s neoliberal reality, need, deservingness, and affect have become opportunities for political and economic entrepreneurial investment. Both within their own communities of supporters and beyond in Moscow’s commercial sector, religious groups and religiously affiliated assistance programs compete and cooperate with private businesses and state agencies to promote and capitalize on the simultaneously civic and financial value of compassion. By addressing Russia’s “business” or “economy” of kindness and compassion, this chapter considers the forms of revenue, investment, profit, and surplus that are generated and the social, material, and ethical results produced by these profits and surpluses.

Keywords:   Russia, business, compassion commodities, affective labor, surplus, economy of sentiment, affective economy

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