Based on an extensive reading of a broad range of women’s accounts of their lives in the Soviet Union, this book focuses on many hidden aspects of Soviet women’s everyday lives, thereby revealing a great deal about how the Soviet Union operated on a day-to-day basis and about the place of the individual within it.
Including testimony from both celebrated literary and cultural figures
and from many ordinary people, and from both enthusiastic supporters of the
regime and dissidents, the book considers women’s daily routines, attitudes and
behaviours. It highlights some of the hidden inequalities of an ostensibly egalitarian
society, and considers many wider questions, including how extensive was
the ‘reach’ of the Soviet regime; how ‘modern’ was it; how far were there continuities
after 1917 between the new Bolshevik regime and Russia’s imperial
past; and how homogenous and how mobile was Soviet society?
Table of Contents
2. Born in the USSR: Soviet Identities
3. A Happy Childhood
4. Looking for Love
5. Emancipation and Equality
6. Health and Welfare
7. Reproductive Health and Maternity
8. Consumption, Soviet Style
9. Custom, Ritual and Superstition
10. Go West
Melanie Ilic is a Professor of Soviet History in the School of Education and Humanities at the University of Gloucestershire, and Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Russian, European and Eurasian Studies, the University of Birmingham.