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dc.contributor.authorYoung, James
dc.date.accessioned2008-08-13
dc.date.available2008-08-13
dc.date.issued2008-01-01
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/2123/2694
dc.descriptionPhDen
dc.description.abstractThis thesis explores the lives of key female members of the Bolshevik elite from the revolutionary movement’s beginnings to the time of Stalin’s death. Through analysing the attitudes and contributions of Bolshevik elite women – most particularly the wives of Lenin, Molotov, Voroshilov and Bukharin – it not only provides for a descriptive account of these individual lives, their changing attitudes and activities, but also a more broad-ranging, social handle on the evolution of elite society in the Soviet Union and the changing nature of the Bolshevik elite both physically and ideationally. Chapters one and two focus on the physical and ideological foundations of the Bolshevik marriage. Chapter one traces the ideological approach of the Bolsheviks towards marriage and the family, examining pre-revolutionary socialist positions in relation to women and the family and establishing a benchmark for how the Bolsheviks wished to approach the ‘woman question’. Chapter two examines the nature of the Bolshevik elite marriage from its inception to the coming of the revolution, dwelling particularly on the different pre-revolutionary experiences of Yekaterina Voroshilova and Nadezhda Krupskaya. Chapters three and four then analyse two key areas of wives’ everyday lives during the interwar years. Chapter three looks at the work that Bolshevik wives undertook and how the nature of their employment changed from the 1920s to the 1930s. Chapter four, through examining the writings of wives such as Voroshilova, Larina and Ordzhonikidze, focuses upon how wives viewed themselves, their responsibilities as members of the Bolshevik elite and the position of women in Soviet society. The final two chapters of this thesis explore the changing nature of elite society in this period and its relationship to Soviet society at large. Chapter five investigates the changing composition of the elite and the specific and general effects of the purges upon its nature. Directly, the chapter examines the lives of Zhemchuzhina, Larina and Pyatnitskaya as wives that were repressed during this period, while more broadly it considers the occupation of the House on the Embankment in the 1930s and the changing structure of Bolshevik elite society. Chapter six focuses on the evolution of Soviet society in the interwar period and how the experiences of Bolshevik elite wives differed from those of ‘mainstream’ Russian women. While previous studies of the Bolshevik elite have focussed upon men’s political lives and investigations of Soviet women’s policy and its shifts under Stalin have mainly concentrated upon describing changes in realist terms, this thesis demonstrates that not only is an evaluation of wives’ lives crucial to a fuller understanding of the Bolshevik elite, but that by comprehending the personal attitudes and values of members of the Bolshevik elite society, particularly with regards to women and the family, a more informed perspective on the reasons for changes in Soviet women’s policy during the interwar period may be arrived at.en
dc.publisherUniversity of Sydney.en
dc.publisherDepartment of Government and International Relationsen
dc.rightsThe author retains copyright of this thesis.
dc.rights.urihttp://www.library.usyd.edu.au/copyright.html
dc.subjectSovieten
dc.subjecteliteen
dc.subjectwomenen
dc.subjecthistoryen
dc.subjectethnographyen
dc.subjectBolsheviken
dc.subjectwivesen
dc.titleBolshevik wives: a study of soviet elite societyen
dc.typePhD Doctorateen
dc.date.valid2008-01-01en


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