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Politics, Work, and Daily Life in the USSR

Politics, Work, and Daily Life in the USSR
A Survey of Former Soviet Citizens


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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  • Date Published: January 1988
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521348904

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About the Authors
  • 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areas the Soviets themselves had never investigated, so the data were not, and indeed still are not, available even in unpublished Soviet sources.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
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 1988
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521348904
    • length: 440 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 153 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.618kg
    • contains: 16 b/w illus. 101 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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
    General bibliography of Soviet Interview project publications

  • Editor

    James R. Millar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign


    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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