Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Planning the Soviet everyday : reimagining the city, home and material culture of developed socialism
Author: Alekseyeva, Anna
ISNI:       0000 0004 5920 4665
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores professional visions for the planning of everyday life during the period of developed socialism. Considering a wide range of disciplinary literature, including architecture, urban planning, design and sociology, this thesis analyses how professionals imagined residential and domestic life in an urbanised and technologically advanced socialist society. Continuing the narrative of Khrushchev’s modernising programme to reform everyday life (byt) into the post-Khrushchev period, the thesis follows professionals of the last two Soviet decades who criticised the rationalising and collectivising planning paradigm inaugurated during the preceding decades. Professionals argued that this paradigm had produced a dehumanised and alienating everyday environment in the city and the home. After setting out the theoretical framework and the historical context of developed socialism, the first empirical section addresses urban residential life. It focuses on the microdistrict planning unit to illustrate how professionals, disillusioned with functionalist planning, searched for ways to humanise the city and adapt it to the behaviours and needs of urban residents. Part two investigates shifting professional views on the home and the everyday processes associated with it, such as cooking and cleaning. No longer seen as a utilitarian space in which everyday processes transpire, the home came to be understood as a personal and emotionally resonant place. Part three focuses on material culture, investigating evolving views on consumption and aesthetics. It illustrates how professionals endeavoured to rehabilitate the object world and align it with populist preferences while nonetheless maintaining a commitment to technological and forward-looking principles. In contributing to the scholarly understanding of developed socialism, this thesis contends that the 1970s-1980s saw experts embrace individual agency and popular sentiments. This turn did not, however, signify a turn towards individualism or de-politicised malaise: professionals maintained their utopian aspirations to engineer and control everyday life.
Supervisor: Pallot, Judith ; McDowell, Linda Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Russia and Eurasia ; Soviet Union ; developed socialism ; urban planning ; design history ; architecture