Peasant women in agricultural communes of Soviet Russia in 1917 - early 1930s

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This article based on the large body of archival materials and considers the gender aspect in the activities of agricultural communes of the period of the early Soviet society. Created almost exclusively by men (as part of a team), they most often had about half or slightly less able-bodied members from among the women. This significantly influenced the psychological climate in the commune and its economic indicators. The absence of special works on this issue actualizes an appeal to the problem of the ratio of male / female in the agricultural team of the period under study and its significance for quantitative and qualitative indicators of production. It is also of interest that the agricultural labor commune was the site of a socialist social experiment to create a “new” Soviet person, a “new” Soviet woman. Traditionally, the woman determined the psychological and emotional readiness of the family to perceive the “new”, which the Soviet authorities actively used to strengthen their ideological influence in the village. Within the framework of the Bolshevik project “commune”, the tasks were set to raise the social status of women in society through wide access to education, occupying production, state and party leadership positions. New opportunities, in turn, expanded the space for women’s self-realization beyond their usual roles in the patriarchal structure. The study of the dynamics of the development of these processes in the early Soviet period makes it possible to identify natural boundaries in the implementation of the “new Soviet woman” concept, to establish the results of social planning in this area. The study proved that when joining the team, women pursued primarily pragmatic goals. The author of the article found that, despite the support by the state and the party in the process of raising the status of a peasant woman, society retained the traditional idea of its place and role in the family and social life. As a result, the involvement of women in managerial functions was carried out slowly, however, increased the possibility of their self-realization.

About the authors

Olga M Semerikova

Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin

Author for correspondence.

Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor at the Department of History and Social Technologies of the Ural Humanitarian Institute, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin.

19, Mira St., Yekaterinburg, 620002, Russia


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Copyright (c) 2019 Semerikova O.M.

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