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2020/21 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLAV3210 Soviet Everyday Life from 1917 to 1991

20 creditsClass Size: 15

Module manager: Ilya Yablokov

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is mutually exclusive with

SLAV2210Soviet Everyday Life from 1917 to 1991
SLAV2215Soviet Everyday Life From 1917 to 1991

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Traditionally, life in the Soviet Union is perceived to be polarized between the ideological constraints imposed by the state authorities on the one hand, and acts of resistance by dissidents on the other. This course approaches Soviet culture in a different way. The course examines how Soviet citizens translated the communist ideology into the language of everyday life: objects, practices and rituals. The course will examine the issue in chronological order starting with the October revolution and finishing with the Chernobyl catastrophe of 1986.


The module aims to introduce students to:
• Russian history
• Russian modern culture
• Russian governance
• Russian society
• Soviet history
• Soviet society
• Soviet culture

Learning outcomes
1. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyse primary sources with a view to understanding the underlying causes of political and socio-economic and cultural change in the Eastern European space;
2. Students will develop skills of comparative analysis of historical processes in several countries with a view to tracing the causes of the political conflicts in Europe in the-post communist period;
3. Students will be able to critically analyse and engage in debates related to Soviet history;
4. Students will be able to critically engage with the literature on the topics related to the Soviet and post-Soviet periods;
5. Students will be able to shape their own critical argument based on the literature discovered and analysed during the module.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
• conduct analysis of works in various media (visual art, music and film) to discuss representation of everyday life in the Soviet Union;
• demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the communist ideology and cultural production of the time;
• engage in critical debate around issues of ideology, material production, and cultural value;
• demonstrate the capacity for independent thought and judgement;
• show developed research skills.


The module is structured around the following broad and indicative topics in the history of the Soviet Union (1917-1991):
Gender and sex
Reforms and institutional changes
Design and art
Political repressions and resistance
Trade and consumption
Labour and industrial progress

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

180 hours of independent study (reading for seminars = 120 hours; homework assignments = 60 hours) to supplement in-class tuition. Students are expected to carry out weekly homework assignments and revise material covered in class on a regular basis.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

• Each week students will receive tasks to prepare at home. The results of their preparation will be assessed at fortnightly seminars.
• Tutor will be available during office hours to provide further guidance and feedback on successful completion of the module.
• Class participation will be used to monitor progress

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 word essay60.00
Literature Review1500 word literature review40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/08/2020 16:31:47


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