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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Karina Chotchaeva
Soviet Society of the 1950s - 1960s in Anglo-American Historiography
History
(Bachelor’s programme)
2017
Russian historians, who study the soviet society of the 1950-60s, are mainly concerned with political and economic reforms of the Khrushchev era. Few Russian studies are dedicated to social issues of this period. Anglo-American historians, on the contrary, concentrated on the history from below since the 1960-1980s. They provide interesting interpretations of social history of the Khrushchev era and helps us to look at the old problems in a new way. This adds to a deeper understanding of that period of Soviet history.

Now, at the times of fast and dramatic socio-political transitions it is very important to analyze past experiences of similarly radical changes. It is important to understand the consequences of such changes in the social sphere, where, unlike in politics, they do not lie on the surface.

The general question that this study attempts to investigate is how English and American historians describe the soviet society of the 1950-60s, which problems they emphasize and how they interpret them. Chapter One examines political changes in the Khrushchev era as described by Anglo-American historians. The majority of researchers consider that de-Stalinization was limited and analyze the causes and the forms of this limitation. Chapter Two explores interpretations of social changes in the Khrushchev era by Anglo-American historians. According to them, soviet citizens started to devote more time and attention to their private lives, although the state continued its attempts to control them. Chapter Three investigates interpretations of cultural changes and attitudes to them by various social groups as described by Anglo-American academics. They focus on the upsurge of interest in poetry and literature and on the emergence of the new mass culture and public opinion in the USSR. They also notice that soviet scientific research became less ideologically charged, and that the level of satisfaction of soviet citizens became more dependent on their purchasing power.

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