1st Edition

Everyday Soviet Utopias Planning, Design and the Aesthetics of Developed Socialism

By Anna Alekseyeva Copyright 2019
    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how intellectuals of the later Soviet decades – the 1970s and 1980s – sought to bring about the socialist utopian world. It argues that the last two decades of the Soviet Union were not characterised by state withdrawal and malaise, as some scholars have argued; attempts to envisage and enact Utopia remained as imaginative and creative as ever. The book considers what these utopian ideas looked like through housing schemes, layouts of districts and cities, design of objects and interiors, and proposals for the organisation of family and social life. Relating developments in the Soviet Union to evolving social theory and postmodernism more broadly, the book draws transnational parallels between the intellectual history of east and west in the late twentieth century. 

    Chapter 1: Introduction

    Chapter 2: Social and economic control under developed socialism: themes and context

    Part I: Everyday Urbanity

    Chapter 3: Social life in the microdistrict: forging a new type of collective

    Chapter 4: Humanised urban design: visions and realities of city planning

    Part II: Domesticity and Khoziaistvo

    Chapter 5: From ‘machine’ to ‘organism’: changing views on the nature of the living cell

    Chapter 6: Khoziaistvo in the socialist city: organising byt and family life

    Part III: Everyday Objects

    Chapter 7: Managing consumption and rehabilitating the object-world

    Chapter 8: Postmodernism with a Socialist Realist face?

    Chapter 9: Conclusion


    Anna Alekseyeva completed her doctorate at the University of Oxford.