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Rearing the Collective: The Evolution of Social Values and Practices in Soviet Schools, 1953 – 1968

Svetlana A Rasmussen, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study examines the functioning of the Soviet school system and how the generation of Soviet children born from 1945 to 1952 internalized Soviet ideology in the school setting. The study argues that the knowledge, skill sets, and social networks Soviet schools provided the postwar generation were forged in the school collectives in the complex negotiation of suretyship relationships. Ideological and administrative agendas of the regional, city and district departments of education forced teachers and students to establish and maintain the relationships of poruka or mutual responsibility for the obligation imposed from above. The study focuses on the administrative, teaching, and learning cultures of the primary and secondary schools in the Perm region between 1953 and 1968 as reflected in the school and city, district, and regional education committees’ procedural records from the four Perm Krai archives. Analysis of these materials suggests that while the Soviet school curriculum intended to inculcate students with the proper values, the principles and practices of school administration and the culture of the Soviet collective undermined positive ideals with cynicism and permissiveness.

Subject Area

Russian history|Education history

Recommended Citation

Rasmussen, Svetlana A, "Rearing the Collective: The Evolution of Social Values and Practices in Soviet Schools, 1953 – 1968" (2019). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI27544686.