Cоветская повседневность
Natalia Lebina
Norms And Anomalies Of The Soviet Everyday Life

2023. 125 x 200 mm. Hardcover. 488 p.

ISBN 978-5-4448-1950-0

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Annotation: This book is no less than a detailed almanac of the everyday life of the Soviet society in 1920—1950-ies. Wielding the 'norm/anomaly' dichotomy Natalia Lebina demonstrates how and why the twists of the Bolsheviks' domestic policy line, caused by transition from the revolutionary 'military communism' to New Economic Policy and the later shift towards the totalitarian Stalinist system, did result in the drastic changes of the civilian lifestyle. The World War II and the Great Terror — which are the most obvious associations that usually come into mind in connection with the practice of political whistle-blow resulting in the seizure of the living space of the repressed by their neighbors (this was carried out on a relatively common basis throughout the 1930-ies). First and foremost the author focuses on that semblance of 'normal life' in the context of these hard times of total shortage when the compulsive norm was imposed 'from above' by means of strict official orders and direct constraint and the masses responded to this by elaborating some unofficial hushed up 'counter norms', Starting with the issues of ration rate setting, then shifting to the norms of housing and clothing distribution as well as taking into consideration the behavioral and ritualistic norms of that dramatic epoch, Lebina manages to reconstruct its vivid conceptual image. This provides the reader with an opportunity to trace down and understand the logic of all the controversies and circumstances that have brought the Soviet country from the relatively pluralistic 1920-ies straight into the stifling atmosphere of all-embracing traditionalistic simulacra of the totalitarian Stalinist "big style" with all its indisputable taboos and prescriptions.