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Being SovietIdentity, Rumour, and Everyday Life under Stalin 1939–1953$
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Timothy Johnston

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199604036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604036.001.0001

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Subversive Styles? Official Soviet Cultural Identity in the late-Stalin years 1945–1953

Subversive Styles? Official Soviet Cultural Identity in the late-Stalin years 1945–1953

Chapter:
(p.167) 5 Subversive Styles? Official Soviet Cultural Identity in the late-Stalin years 1945–1953
Source:
Being Soviet
Author(s):

Timothy Johnston

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199604036.003.0005

The official cultural identity of the USSR shifted rapidly in the early Cold War. Three different campaigns expressed this new identity amongst different groups: the Zhdanovshchina, the Lysenko-led assault on Michurinism, and the Anti-Cosmopolitan Campaign. These campaigns attacked ‘kowtowing’ before capitalist culture and reinforced the self-sufficiency and superiority of Soviet civilization. Most Soviet scientists and artists adapted successfully to the new language of Sovietness, performing, reappropriating, and avoiding the demands of the ideological campaigns. On a popular level, American cinema, jazz, and clothing styles remained popular. However, even those such as the stiliagi who styled themselves in an explicitly ‘American’ manner were ‘tactically’ negotiating the boundaries of Soviet and un-Soviet style, rather than resisting Soviet power. The glamour and chic, as well as the threatening nature, of the outside world remained a structural feature of the Soviet post-war mentalité.

Keywords:   1945, 1953, Cold War, Zhdanovshchina, Lysenko, Anti-Cosmopolitan Campaign, Soviet science, Soviet jazz, stiliagi, mentalité

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