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Politics, Work, and Daily Life in the USSR
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  • 16 b/w illus. 101 tables
  • Page extent: 440 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.61 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 306/.0947
  • Dewey version: 19
  • LC Classification: HN523.5 .P63 1987
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Soviet Union--Social conditions--1970-1991
    • Soviet Union--Politics and government--1953-1985
    • Soviet Union--Economic conditions--1975-1985
    • Quality of life--Soviet Union

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521348904 | ISBN-10: 0521348900)

DOI: 10.2277/0521348900

  • There was also a Hardback of this title but it is no longer available | Adobe eBook
  • Published January 1988

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

 (Stock level updated: 02:09 GMT, 28 November 2015)


Politics, work, and daily life in the USSR is designed to illustrate how the Soviet social system really works and how the Soviet people cope with it. This study is based on the first comprehensive survey of life in the USSR since the Harvard Project over thiry-three years ago. The essays contained analyze the variations in attitude and behaviour reflected in the findings of the Soviet Interview Project, a five-year investigation of contemporary daily life in the USSR. The survey involved interviewing thousands of recent emigrants from the USSR to the United States as a means of learning about their former day-to-day lives. Some aspects of this survey dealt with areas the Soviets themselves had never investigated, so the data were not, and indeed still are not, available even in unpublished Soviet sources. This study of a large volume of firsthand observations is extremely valuable to anyone interested in the inner workings and behavioural dynamics of the contemporary Soviet social system.

• A comprehensive survey of life in the USSR based on firsthand observations • Compiled after thousands of emigrants from the USSR to the United States were interviewed • Demonstrates how the Soviet social system works and how it affects Soviet people


Foreword Joseph S. Berliner; Part I. Introduction: 1. History, method, and the problem of bias James R. Millar; 2. Quality of life: subjective measures of relative satisfaction James R. Millar and Elizabeth Clayton; Part II. Politics: Sources of Regime Support: 3. Politics, generations, and change in the USSR Donna Bahry; 4. Political beliefs of the Soviet citizen: sources of support for regime norms Brian D. Silver; 5. The attentive public for Soviet science and technology Linda L. Lubrano; Part III. Work: Economic/Demographic Trends: 6. Inequality of earnings, household income, and wealth in the Soviet Union in the 1970s Aaron Vinokur and Gur Ofer; 7. The life course of Soviet women born 1905–1960 Barbara A. Anderson; 8. Productivity, slack, and time theft in the Soviet economy Paul R. Gregory; Part IV. Life: Social Status, Ethnic Relations, and Mobilized Participation: 9. Perceptions of social status in the USSR Michael Swafford; 10. Nationality policy and ethnic relations in the USSR Rasma Karklins; 11. Mobilized participation and the nature of the Soviet dictatorship William Zimmerman; Appendixes; Glossary; General bibliography of Soviet Interview project publications; Index.


'Using the rigorous methods of social science, James Millar and his colleagues have tapped into a unique source - a 'living archive' of information on contemporary Soviet society. Their book provides priceless insights on the reality with which Gorbachev must contend.' S. Frederick Starr, president, Oberlin College

'Politics, work, and daily life in the USSR is an important addition to our understanding of contemporary attitudes and behaviours of Soviet citizens. The authors have carried off a tour de force in exploiting modern social survey and statistical analytical techniques. The book will become a solid and permanent part of the Soviet studies literature.' Robert Campbell, Indiana University

'Professor Millar and his colleagues have rendered the field of Soviet studies a signal service by systematically investigating the attitudes, values, and life histories of a large sample of 'Third Wave' émigrés. Their findings help to clarify some of the most hotly disputed analytical issues in the field. All of the contributions to this volume will repay careful reading, and some of them will undoubtedly become classics in the field.' Jeremy R. Azrael, The RAND Corporation


Joseph S. Berliner, James R. Millar, Elizabeth Clayton, Donna Bahry, Brian D. Silver, Linda L. Lubrano, Aaron Vinokur, Gur Ofer, Barbara A. Anderson, Paul R. Gregory, Michael Swafford, Rasma Karklins, William Zimmerman

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