Change of People’s Cultural Code in 1920s-1930s (The Case of Tyumen)

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2018, Vol. 4. №3

Change of People’s Cultural Code in 1920s-1930s (The Case of Tyumen)

For citation: Gavrilicheva G. P, Kononenko A. A. 2018. “Change of People’s Cultural Code in 1920s-1930s (The Case of Tyumen)”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 4, no 3, pp. 179-191. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2018-4-3-179-191

About the authors:

Galina P. Gavrilicheva, Cand. Sci. (Philol.), Associate Professor, Department of Foreign Languages and Cross-Cultural Professional Communication for Humanities, University of Tyumen;

Anatoly A. Kononenko, Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Professor, Department of Russian History, University of Tyumen;


This paper aims to analyze the cultural processes in Russia in 1920s-1930s, presenting the case of the then Tyumen — a small provincial town in Western Siberia. The authors suppose it was at this time when the change of people’s cultural code took place, and the former subjects of the Russian Empire were transformed into a new social-cultural community, later called the Soviet people.

The authors focus on everyday activities of common people. The study analyzes citizens’ vital activity and survival in hard life conditions, transformation of the Bolshevik agitation and propaganda, the requirements of the state to a person, division of the population to proponents and enemies of the new regime.

The results show a great impact of mythology upon people’s consciousness when all positive changes in their life were connected with the Great October Socialist Revolution of 1917. The new strata have been easily formed within the population: udarniki, stakhanovtsy, peredoviki. The marginal groups were transformed into urban intelligentsia and working class. The lower classes felt social injustice, so the repressions of the leaders satisfied them though both upper and lower layers seemed to be formally equal.

As a result, the complete change of the ruling elite took place, and the new generation was formed. The population was represented by new psychological types of people: activists, poputchiki (companions) and marginal people. They were united by life-preservation instinct and the quasi-ability to rule the country as well as tendency to become a victim for the future generations and the powerful industrial state.


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