Victim-heroes in collective memory: Surviving soviet repressions heroically
Memory narratives commonly include characters such as heroes (triumphant or fallen), martyrs, perpetrators, and victims. In recent years, the victim has become the central character in the dominant, western-centric, and globalized memory culture. A victim’s definition is problematic: few existing memory narratives include “ideal,” or innocent victims who suffered meaninglessly. The lines between victims and other characters in memory narratives are blurry in many cases, for instance, between a victim and a perpetrator. Using the case of Russian museums dedicated to the Soviet repressions, I study the problematic relation between victims and heroes, adding to the discussion of the victim character’s complexity. Often, victims of Soviet repressions are presented as both victims of political persecution and heroes who did not just suffer through their imprisonment but continued to live productive and creative lives. The resulting victim-hero character indicates that the category of a victim is too limiting and adds to calls for the theorization of victim taxonomy.
The article considers the phenomenon of nostalgia for the late Soviet times. The author presents the results of his observations over the nostalgia segment of the Russian blogosphere. The article is based on the concepts of the past, collective memory and nostalgia, which have been worked out by M. Halbwachs, D. Lowenthal and S. Boym.
The Soviet-Afghan war was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Cold War. Afghanistan was not only the battlefield of the Soviet-American system competition, but was also a place of more or less violent Encounter between "modern" Soviets and "backward" Afghans.
Narrative functions very greatly and are studied in a wide interdisciplinary spectrum. However, one of the functions of the narrative have not yet been studied in detail and therefore deserves a special attention. This is an alarm function: narratives can not only reconstruct past events, but they can also warn on the possible danger, predict the future events and simulate the reactions of recipients. In theoretical narratology, this function is perceived with caution: narrative is usually considered as a form referring to the past. At the same time, the applied research shows that narratives could be actively involved in the practices of predicting the future. This mechanism is largely based on the collective memory. The article deals on the problem of narrative representation of risk and its relation to collective memory.
This article is about nostalgic memory of soviet regional intelligentsia.
Several approaches to the concept of fatherhood present in Western sociological tradition are analyzed and compared: biological determinism, social constructivism and biosocial theory. The problematics of fatherhood and men’s parental practices is marginalized in modern Russian social research devoted to family and this fact makes the traditional inequality in family relations, when the father’s role is considered secondary compared to that of mother, even stronger. However, in Western critical men’s studies several stages can be outlined: the development of “sex roles” paradigm (biological determinism), the emergence of the hegemonic masculinity concept, inter-disciplinary stage (biosocial theory). According to the approach of biological determinism, the role of a father is that of the patriarch, he continues the family line and serves as a model for his ascendants. Social constructivism looks into man’s functions in the family from the point of view of masculine pressure and establishing hegemony over a woman and children. Biosocial theory aims to unite the biological determinacy of fatherhood with social, cultural and personal context. It is shown that these approaches are directly connected with the level of the society development, marriage and family perceptions, the level of egality of gender order.