Abstract and Keywords
The Soviet Union was the workers’ state and worker culture, broadly defined, coloured the whole of the Soviet experience. At the centre of the most transformative Soviet project of all, Stalin’s industrial revolution of 1928–41, workers benefited from specific privileges and from affirmative action, though they also suffered the misery of rapid industrial change. After 1953, they enjoyed a heyday of modest material advances and moral certainties, marked by the sense that society respected at least some of their values and would do so forever. But this sense was not shared by all Soviet workers, and lifestyles varied by industry, skill level, and region. And the heyday faded as shortages became increasingly difficult to endure, and then ended, as Gorbachev’s reforms destroyed the comforts that remained. A positive worker identity, but not a coherent class consciousness, survived through to perestroika, and helped to sustain the dynamic of Soviet history.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.