Socialization of Soviet Youth during the "Thaw" Period: Examples of Alternative Identities in the Arkhangelsk Region

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Dmitry Kozlov


Socialization, Sovietness, Youth, Komsomol, “Thaw” in the USSR, Alternative Identities


This paper considers the socialization of Soviet youth as a process of reevaluation of individual social identity in accordance with the officially prescribed one. During the “Thaw” period, the actions and statements of many young people were marked as political protests; however, these actions are better understood as ideological discussions about Komsomol autonomy. Activities of young people who never doubted their Sovietness and of those who constructed alternative identities are analyzed in the article. The rigidity of the prescribed Sovietness made even loyal youngsters question official interpretations of the Soviet Union and, therefore, correct or altogether deny the Soviet core of their own identities. Thus, in the “Thaw” period we can see the beginning of the disintegration of Soviet society into numerous deideologized communities. In Russian, extended summary in English.

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