Coming of Age in Post-Soviet Russia

Coming of Age in Post-Soviet Russia

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The first examination of Post-Soviet adolescents and how the change from a Communist state has influenced their aspirations for the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 153.2 x 228.6 x 18.8mm | 477.74g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252068645
  • 9780252068645

Back cover copy

Anthropologist Fran Markowitz interviewed more than one hundred Russian teenagers to discover how adolescents have been coping with their country's seismic transitions. Her findings present a substantive challenge to near-axiomatic theories of human development that regard cultural stability as indispensable to the successful navigation of adolescence.Markowitz's fieldwork leads to the surprising conclusion that the disruptions brought by glasnost, perestroika, and the fragmentation of the USSR exerted a greater impact on Western political hopes and on many of Russia's adults than on young people's perceptions of their lives. In their remarks on topics ranging from being Russian to religion, sex, music, and military service, the teenagers convey a flexible and optimistic approach to the future and a sense of security deriving from strong family, school, and neighborhood ties. Their perspectives suggest that culture change and social instability may be seen as positive forces, allowing for expressive opportunities, the establishment of individualized identities, and creative, pragmatic more

Review quote

"A fine ethnography, and one whose reach extends far beyond a study of adolescents in post-Soviet Russia. Anyone interested in societies in transition, identity, or looking for an example of solid ethnography would be well rewarded for the time spent with this book." Christopher Kaplonski, American Anthropologist "Moving well beyond sensational accounts of Russia's 'lost youth,' Markowitz gives us a beautifully written portrait of post-Soviet life that provokes new thinking about the stabilities of the very concepts of culture, nation and the person." Bruce Grant, author of In the Soviet House of Culture: A Century of Perestroikas "In this compassionate, critically engaged, and eminently readable ethnography, Fran Markowitz brings us into the lives and concerns of Russia's young people, as they give voice to their hopes, expectations, and anxieties about the future and their places in the world. Offering a distinctive vantage point on processes of social transformation in Russia in general, this work also hints provocatively at ways Russian society might be reshaped by its younger generations, while giving us a poignant sense of the immense challenges Russia's young people face." Nancy Ries, author of Russian Talk: Culture and Conversation during Perestroikashow more

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