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Internationalism in the Soviet Childhood Culture of the 1920s in Periodicals for Young Pioneers

Student: Marina Orlova

Supervisor: Jeanne Kormina

Faculty: School of Arts and Humanities

Educational Programme: History (Bachelor)

Year of Graduation: 2021

“Sovietness” as an obscure, albeit popular concept seems to suggest that “being Soviet” was something definitive, continuous, and fundamentally distinctive (which usually was synonymous with being anti-Western). This understanding of “Sovietness” omits numerous specific aspects of Soviet everyday life, making it look monolithic and at the same time deprived of meaning. Particularly, this is applicable to the childhood culture of the 1920s which was diverse, experimental, and, most importantly, internationalistic at its core. In this research, I examine the place of internationalism in the “children’s world” of the first decade of the Soviet Union as it was presented by the communist party through official periodicals for children’s consumption. I reconstruct the ways through which the first generation of “new Soviet people” adopted the ideas of an international community as a part of their public upbringing and analyze how this community was imagined. I argue that internationalism was a key aspect of early Soviet childhood that reveals a different dimension of this time-specific culture.

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