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From an Economic Term to a Political Concept

The Conceptual Innovation of “Self-Management” in Soviet Estonia

Juhan Saharov

The perestroika period (1985–1991) and the fall of the Soviet Union have received a great deal of attention in scholarly literature, but only a few studies have explored the detailed dynamics of conceptual change in this period. 1 This article

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Soviet Russian Primers of the 1940s

The War after the Victory

Vitaly Bezrogov and Dorena Caroli

What changes did the content, structure, and production of Russian primers published in the Soviet Union undergo between 1941 and 1948—that is, during the Second World War and its aftermath? This article answers this question by analyzing language, content, iconography, and the printing process. The first section addresses key characteristics of primers printed between 1941 and 1944, while the second section focuses on the content of postwar primers printed between 1945 and 1948. The final section addresses challenges facing the textbook approval and circulation process experienced by the State Pedagogical Publishing House of the Russian Soviet Federal Socialist Republic (RSFSR) from 1945 to 1948.

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Antagonistic Insights

Evolving Soviet Atheist Critiques of Religion and Why They Matter for Anthropology

Sonja Luehrmann

This article offers a critique of the common notion in contemporary anthropology that a positive attitude toward the people under study is a necessary precondition for a sophisticated understanding of their social world. The empirical sociology of religion that evolved during the last decades of the Soviet Union's existence started from the premise that religion was a harmful phenomenon slated for disappearance. Nonetheless, atheist sociologists produced increasingly complex accounts of religious life in modern socialist societies. Their ideological framework simultaneously constrained Soviet scholars and forced them to pay closer attention to religious phenomena that contradicted political expectations. Drawing on this extreme example of militant atheist scholarship, I argue that studying 'repugnant cultural others' always requires some form of affective motivation. Antagonism can be as powerful, and as problematic, a motivating force as empathetic suspension of judgment.

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Becoming Communist

Ideals, Dreams, and Nightmares

Rochelle Goldberg Ruthchild

Kelly Hignett, Melanie Ilic, Dalia Leinarte, and Corina Snitar, Women's Experiences of Repression in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe , London: Routledge, 2018, xiii, 196 pp., $123.09 (hardback), ISBN 978-1-138-04692-4. Lisa Kirschenbaum

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Ekaterina Tikhonyuk and Mark McKinney

John Etty, Graphic Satire in the Soviet Union: Krokodil' s Political Cartoons (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2019). 276 pp. ISBN: 978-1496821089 ($30) John Etty's recent book represents a holistic and meticulous study of

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Pulling up the Drawbridge

Anti-Immigrant Attitudes and Support for the Alternative for Germany among Russian-Germans

Michael A. Hansen and Jonathan Olsen

emigrated to Russia in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Russian-Germans came to Germany in large numbers in the wake of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communism in the Soviet Union after 1991. Because of their ethnic German background

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Caroline Humphrey

The article discusses Soviet sailors' experiences away from home and seaborne social relations—the particular sociality brought to the Black Sea region by ships and sailors. The officers and sailors employed by the Black Sea Fleet had much wider horizons than ordinary Soviet citizens—and the small temporary society of the ship interpenetrated with the varied Black Sea inhabitants in limited but significant ways. They contrasted “high seas” of the world's great oceans, the setting for dangerous, daring and profitable exploits, with the enclosed drudgery of the Black Sea routes. The article shows how the Cold War inflected the imaginaries and practices of seamen and others. It argues that an anthropology of the sea can develop an analysis that combines regional specificities with visions that extend beyond the local and national.

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Elisabeth Timm and Patrick Laviolette

next issue. With the passing of Ina-Maria Greverus in 2017, AJEC is now orphaned from its two founding editors. At a time when the Soviet Union was collapsing and Europe would begin facing even more drastic changes, Grevenus and Giordano had the

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Erica L. Fraser

With the onset of the Cold War and a new nuclear world order, Soviet physicists found themselves at the nexus of scientific research and weapons development. This article investigates the subjectivity of these physicists as an issue of masculinity. Influenced by Connell's models of subordinated, complicit, and hegemonic masculinity, the article finds that the stories nuclear physicists tell about their research in the 1950s are inconsistent and shifting, with the narrators simultaneously remembering unfreedom and privilege. They tell of being conscripted to military work against their will but then enjoying (and deserving) the resulting power, all while maintaining strong homosocial networks in the laboratory predicated on excluding women. Evidence from personal narratives provides unique insight into these multiple masculinities and the way the authors position themselves as (masculinized) Cold War subjects.

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‘We Are Both Diplomats and Traders’

Afghan Transregional Traders Across the Former Soviet Union

Magnus Marsden

indicates the need for sophisticated insight into the role played by transnational movements of people in the political cultures of the former Soviet Union. Is Nayyem’s success simply the story of a talented migrant? Alternatively, does it reflect the highly