Creating a Heroine: the Labor Record of Dusya Vinogradova

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The objective of this article is to study the social and economic mechanisms that enabled the emergence of a female heroism at the beginning of the Second Five-Year Plan. The article analyzes its realization of the Soviet gender project at the local level. This approach allows to investigate the relations of the authorities and workers at a particular factory and show the interdependence of their interests. The article’s primary sources include periodicals, documentation of central and local authorities, as well as the works of a journalist and historian T. Leshukov. Intensification of production at the beginning of the First Five-Year Plan required mobilization of labor forces, stimulation of workers’ enthusiasm and modernization of factories’ looms. Professional competitions, designed to increase productivity while controlling product quality, became part of the campaign for increased output. However, the material and technical crisis did not allow the textile industry to fulfill the planned targets prescribed from above and coincided with the food crisis, which led to the largest workers’ protests in the Ivanovo Industrial region in 1932. By the beginning of the Second Five-Year Plan, the textile industry was lagging far behind the planned indicators for production automatization, while the factory staff opposed increasing productivity with the help of a “seal” which meant working with more looms per weaver. The article about the record of the female weaver Vinogradova published in the Light Industry promoted new professional standards, according to which a young girl could be a technical expert, and an increase in labor productivity was possible with the help of the “seal”. In addition, the young female shock worker was a response to experienced workers who participated in the protests of 1932, therefore it signified the superiority of the Soviet education system and the new organization of labor. Biographical data of those involved in the organization of the record shows that they were representatives of the first Soviet generation, whose interests were closely intertwined with those of the party.

About the authors

Daria I Navolotskaya

ANOOVO European University at St. Petersburg

Author for correspondence.

graduate student at European University at St. Petersburg (Faculty of History).

letter A, 6/1, Gagarinskaya st., St. Petersburg, 191187, Russia


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