Factory, Family, and Woman in the Soviet Union

Factory, Family, and Woman in the Soviet Union

Factory, Family, and Woman in the Soviet Union

Factory, Family, and Woman in the Soviet Union

Excerpt

In the seventeen years that have passed since the Russian Revolution, the life and personality of the Russian people have been subjected to a process of rapid transformation unparalleled certainly in modern times. A hundred years of change have been kaleidoscoped into a decade. What is more, the entire social structure has been turned upside down. That which was the peak of the pyramid, making up the old Russia, was thrown to the bottom, and out of the collapse which resulted has come an irrepressible leveling of classes, races and peoples. The primary groups of the old Russian society, family and class, formed by centuries of old Russian culture, have been demolished. In their places rise new structures and new systems, built according to new models.

Probably all Russians have felt the change. Opportunity and privilege, long retained by the ruling class of the old Russia, have been turned over to people long inured to deprivation. One recognizes easily the losses of the aristocracy and bourgeoisie. One sees as readily the gains of the proletariat, workers and peasants. Working class needs and energies, habits of life and thought, tastes and desires have formed the basis of the new social order. The material change appearing in standards of life and of work has been considerable; but the non-material change, evident in social organization, in social attitudes and in what the sociologist calls the culture pattern, has been very great.

If one were to select a single institution whose substance and design, more than any other, forms the center of Soviet life, almost certainly one would choose the factory. Work, food, recreation and government are supplied and carried on within its walls. Around the factory, economic, political and social life swing in concentric circles, always widening its sphere of influence. Today, institute and office, school and farm tend to follow, in general outline and plan of organization, the pattern of the workshop.

The reason for this concern with industry seems obvious. The new factories of Soviet Russia, the mills, mines and power plants . . .

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