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date: 10 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Great War so utterly transformed Russian society that the shift from a ‘sedimentary society’ (Alfred Rieber) to a ‘quicksand society’ (Moshe Lewin) was already well underway before either the October or the Stalin Revolutions. This chapter explores the disruptive effects between 1914 and 1917 of mass migrations, of a transfiguration of the ethnic order of the Empire, and of the dislocation of the imperial economy, including a major move away from a market system and the realignment of labour and authority in urban and rural areas alike. Among the most important social consequences of these developments was the emergence of an unstable mixture of refugees, soldiers and soldiers’ wives who together formed the wounded society of victims that emerged from the war years.

Keywords: soldiers, soldiers’ wives, civilians, refugees, mass migration, economic dislocation, inflation, ethno–politics, gendered transformation, urban sociability

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