“The Komsomol Needs to Announce a Merciless and Decisive War to All Kinds of

«Комсомолу приходится объявить беспощадную и решительную войну против всех типов стиляг». Политика в отношении «вестернизированной» молодежи в Советск
“The Komsomol Needs to Announce a Merciless and Decisive War to All Kinds of "Stiliagi’”. Managing Westernized Youth in the Soviet Union under Khrushc

Author(s): G. Tsipursky
Subject(s): History
Published by: Издательство Исторического факультета СПбГУ
Keywords: youth; Thaw; Khrushchev years; leisure; mass culture; popular culture; Cold War

Summary/Abstract: The postwar years witnessed a trend of young Soviet citizens increasingly fascinated with western and particularly American popular youth culture — fashion, music, and dancing. In the mid-1950s, the Communist Party launched a massive public initiative against what it saw as the Cold War-motivated invasion of “bourgeois” youth culture. The Komsomol leadership intended the campaign to remove “western” influence and instill an appropriately communist mentality and values among youth by managing their leisure. This article draws on a range of Soviet primary sources — archives, newspapers, literature, as well as memoirs and interviews — to explore this leisure initiative. It argues that this campaign, in its combination of socially mobilized coercion and offering of fun consumption options, illuminates the nature of the Khrushchev leadership’s new style of rule.

  • Issue Year: 3/2013
  • Issue No: 08
  • Page Range: 55-83
  • Page Count: 29
  • Language: Russian