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Articles 1 - 7 of 7

Full-Text Articles in Social History

Historical Culture: Russia In Search Of Itself, Boris Paramonov Jan 2012

Historical Culture: Russia In Search Of Itself, Boris Paramonov

Russian Culture

Russia's 75 year-long experiment with communism is over, but the question persists as to whether the Soviet regime was a historical aberration or an expression of the country's destiny. This question is as old as the Bolshevik revolution. It has produced a voluminous literature and will no doubt continue to attract attention in the near future. Alas, it can not be answered conclusively, for it is grounded in the questioner's ideological a priori and tells us more about the historian's biases than about Russian history.


Moral Culture: Public Morality And Private Responsibility, Igor Kon Jan 2012

Moral Culture: Public Morality And Private Responsibility, Igor Kon

Russian Culture

When Mikhail Gorbachev unfurled his reform banners in the late 1980's, many observers inside and outside Russia hailed perestroika as a moral renaissance. The Soviet Union was indeed a spiritually bankrupt society at the time, its citizens demanding a clean break with the past and yearning for a better future. Despite the new openness or glasnost, the changes have been slow in coming and often very controversial. A public opinion survey conducted in February 1991 showed the country morally adrift and deeply divided about the course of reforms.


Psychological Culture: Ambivalence And Resistance To Social Change, Alexander Etkind Jan 2012

Psychological Culture: Ambivalence And Resistance To Social Change, Alexander Etkind

Russian Culture

"National character," "modal personality," "collective unconscious," "ethnic mentality," "cultural identity" -- these and similar notions are designed to capture psychological traits that distinguish one social group from another. Attempts to isolate such hypothetical qualities are not different in principle from efforts to describe religious, legal, or other social patterns found among people who have lived together for a length of time, except that psychological constructs tend to focus on subjective characteristics and are somewhat harder to identify. For the first time, the link between culture and psychology came under close scrutiny in the nineteen century. German linguists Steinthal and Lazarus and ...


Civic Culture: Public Opinion And The Resurgence Of Civic Culture, Yuri Levada Jan 2012

Civic Culture: Public Opinion And The Resurgence Of Civic Culture, Yuri Levada

Russian Culture

There has hardly been a stretch in Russian history more saturated with sweeping changes than the period between 1988-1993. Packed into this exceedingly brief historical era are the rise of "perestroika" and the fall of its illustrious leader, Mikhail Gorbachev; the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence in its place of 15 independent states; the August '91 communist putsch and the democrats' triumphant ascension to power; the proliferation of virulent ethnic conflicts and the recognition of the abiding need for cooperation; the bloody October '93 confrontation between the executive and legislative powers and the surprising strength that the ...


Soviet Everyday Culture: An Oxymoron?, Svetlana Boym Jan 2012

Soviet Everyday Culture: An Oxymoron?, Svetlana Boym

Russian Culture

Mikhail Mishin, a Soviet satirist, wrote that Russians recognize themselves in the famous fairy-tale character Ivan the Fool. He bides his time napping on the heated furnace and gets up only to undertake major heroic feats. Ivan the Fool might be a great hero, but he has no idea how to survive his everyday life. Everyday life, captured in the Russian word byt, is a more dangerous enemy to him than the multi-headed fire-spitting dragon. The everyday is Russia 's cultural monster. The nation might worship its heroes and their fabled ability to withstand hell or high water, but it ...


Introduction: Continuity And Change In Russian Culture, Dmitri N. Shalin Jan 2012

Introduction: Continuity And Change In Russian Culture, Dmitri N. Shalin

Russian Culture

This project on Russian culture goes back to the Spring of 1990 when several American and Russian scholars converged at the Russian Research Center at Harvard University and decided to join forces in a study of changes sweeping the Soviet Union. From the start, the participants agreed that they would not try to chase fast breaking news from Russia -- a hopeless task given the pace of recent changes, but rather would focus on the continuity and change in Russian culture, on the long-term social forces that compel the Russian people to reexamine old ways and reevaluate old values.


Intellectual Culture: The End Of Russian Intelligentsia, Dmitri N. Shalin Jan 2012

Intellectual Culture: The End Of Russian Intelligentsia, Dmitri N. Shalin

Russian Culture

No group cheered louder for Soviet reform, had a bigger stake in perestroika, and suffered more in its aftermath than did the Russian intelligentsia. Today, nearly a decade after Mikhail Gorbachev unveiled his plan to reform Soviet society, the mood among Russian intellectuals is decidedly gloomy. "The intelligentsia has carried perestroika on its shoulders," laments Ury Shchekochikhin, "so why does it feel so forlorn, superfluous, forgotten"? G. Ivanitsky warns that the intellectual strata "has become so thin that in three or four years the current genocide against the intelligentsia would surely wipe it out." Andrey Bitov, one of the country ...