Public and Private Life of the Soviet People : Changing Values in Post-Stalin Russia
The process of privatization in Soviet society began in the late 1950s and reached its peak in the early 1980s. It remains perhaps the most important social, economic and political process to occur in modern Soviet society. Utilizing novels, films, and his own surveys done in the Soviet Union, the author, an emigre sociologist, describes how the Russian people have been withdrawing their time, energy, and emotion from public activities controlled by the state, investing them instead in various spheres of private life. Shlapentokh argues that the trend toward family-orientation and self-orientation has rendered official Soviet values nominal, save patriotism and support of "social property" in the abstract. The author examines Gorbachev's reforms from this perspective and provides a vivid portrait of the growing distinction between public and private life in Soviet economic, political, and cultural spheres.
- Hardback | 290 pages
- 142.24 x 210.82 x 30.48mm | 498.95g
- 01 Feb 1989
- Oxford University Press Inc
- New York, United States
"Has special significance in documenting the shift in attitudes toward privatization and consumerism that underlies much of what is happening today."--Foreign Affairs"An able sociological introduction to the valuative context of the Soviet order between the times of Stalin and Gorbachev."--American Journal of Sociology"This work is valuable for a number of reasons. First, it presents and argues convincingly a central thesis, namely that 'since the late 1950s the Soviet people have gradually but unswervingly diverted their interests from the state to their primary groups...and to semilegal and illegal civil society as well as to illegal activity inside the private sector.' Second, Shlapentokh makes excellent use of a wide variety of Soviet survey data, and supplements it with a wide-ranging knowledge of Soviet life gained from personal experience and from Soviet literature and films....Recommended for undergraduate and graduuate libraries."--Choice"An extremely useful summary of a mass of recent survey information."--Sociology"Extremely interesting....Will find quite a broad audience in academia, government and the general public. I found the book genuinely gripping and I learned a great deal from it."--Abbott Gleason, Brown University