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Peasant metropolis : social identities in Moscow, 1929-1941

Author: David L Hoffmann
Publisher: Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1994.
Series: Studies of the Harriman Institute.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
During the 1930s, 23 million peasants left their villages and moved to Soviet cities, where they accounted for almost half of the urban population and more than half of the nation's industrial workers. Drawing on previously inaccessible archival materials, David L. Hoffmann shows how this massive migration to the cities - an influx unprecedented in world history - had major consequences for the nature of the Soviet
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Hoffmann, David L. (David Lloyd), 1961-
Peasant metropolis.
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 1994
(OCoLC)652286770
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: David L Hoffmann
ISBN: 0801429420 9780801429422 0801486602 9780801486609
OCLC Number: 30074208
Description: xiii, 282 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. Moscow and Its Hinterland --
2. The Process of In-migration --
3. The Formation of the Urban Workforce --
4. The Workplace as Contested Space --
5. The Urban Environment and Living Standards --
6. Official Culture and Peasant Culture --
7. Social Identity and Labor Politics --
Appendix I. Workers in Moscow's Economic Sectors --
Appendix II. The 1932 Trade Union Census.
Series Title: Studies of the Harriman Institute.
Responsibility: David L. Hoffmann.
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Abstract:

During the 1930s, 23 million peasants left their villages and moved to Soviet cities, where they accounted for almost half of the urban population and more than half of the nation's industrial workers. Drawing on previously inaccessible archival materials, David L. Hoffmann shows how this massive migration to the cities - an influx unprecedented in world history - had major consequences for the nature of the Soviet system and the character of Russian society even today.

Hoffmann focuses on events in Moscow between the launching of the industrialization drive in 1929 and the outbreak of war in 1941. He reconstructs the attempts of Party leaders to reshape the social identity and behavior of the millions of newly urbanized workers, who appeared to offer a broad base of support for the socialist regime. The former peasants, however, had brought with them their own forms of cultural expression, social organization, work habits, and attitudes toward authority. Hoffmann demonstrates that Moscow's new inhabitants established social identities and understandings of the world very different from those prescribed by Soviet authorities. Their refusal to conform to the authorities' model of a loyal proletariat thwarted Party efforts to construct a social and political order consistent with Bolshevik ideology.

The conservative and coercive policies that Party leaders adopted in response, he argues, contributed to the Soviet Union's emergence as an authoritarian welfare state.

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