«FLOATING WAREHOUSE IS NOT A POORHOUSE»: WEEKDAYS OF A SOVIET CITY IN A TIME OF TORGSIN

Abstract

The article analyzes one of the vectors of transformation of the urban estate of pre-revolutionary Russia, petty borgouise into new social strata of Soviet society through the texts of everyday behavior of citizens in the era of the turn of state policy to materialism in the mid – 1930-ies, which occurred in connection with the need for industrialization and obtaining funds for it. The article analyzes the contamination of concepts: petty-bourgeois as the name of the urban class and petty-bourgeois as a qualitative characteristic of the soul, that is, an ethical category. Following the logic of historical construction «from below», the daily practices of the urban population, formed by the activities of the branches of Torgsin in Samara, which can be defined as «petty-bourgeois», are studied. The micro-level approach is used to show how in a particular historical phenomenon, in particular, in the activities of Torgsin, there is a return to the usual practices of urban trade, the associated practices of deception, speculation, as in Soviet everyday life begins its «historical destiny» the word «blat», as the government forces the little man of the city to get comfort, using loopholes such as parcels and transfers from abroad or the surrender of family heirlooms. Anecdotal and literary everyday life lies in such a micro-event, as a broken ceiling of the store, from which you can steal the goods. But the seriousness of the crime, as well as the scale of the historical fact- is only one more facet of historical research, in whose «lens» should include both institutional events and the smallest behavioral practices.

The sources of this work are archival documents from the funds of TSGASO.

The aim of the study is to study the peculiarities of transformation of the social petty-bourgeois everyday life of the Russian provincial city in the first years of the Soviet power, in particular, in the situation of influence on the urban daily life of practices caused by the establishment of Torgsin.

It is concluded that in a situation where «from above» there was a temporary retreat from socialist construction towards the admission of «petty-bourgeois» texts of behavior into the daily life of Soviet people, "from below" the former petty-bourgeois commercial environment of the city began to use this situation to make its everyday world more comfortable, which in the mythology of the new socialist ethics was called «meschanstvo» and «obyvatel’schina».

About the authors

Z. M. Kobozeva

Samara National Research University

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4080-8349

Doctor of Historical Sciences, professor of the Faculty of History, Department of Russian History

E. V. Alekseenko

Samara National Research University

Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5017-1877

Master of Historical Sciences, Department of Russian History

References

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