Public morality and labor prestige in Soviet era newspapers: 1945-1964



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This thesis explores the nature of public Soviet morality as written in nationally published newspapers from the years 1945 to 1964. Whereas the historiography of the press and social campaigns has primarily studied the capacity of the press to influence the Soviet population, historians have neglected to examine the content of published material. This work analyzes the character of Party values through newspaper stories that featured positive examples of prestigious workers. This thesis argues that social values held by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union were remarkably consistent across late Stalinism to the end of the Khrushchev period. Although there were several shifts in rhetoric, public voluntarism and selfless initiative saw multiple expressions across several newspaper campaigns but remained the fundamental values that Party journalists continued expressing. The consistency demonstrated by the press indicates that ideological values had been firmly rooted since the 1920s. Further, it adds to the growing scholarship arguing that periodizing the Khrushchev era as a wholly separate Thaw is somewhat problematic, as there were significant continuities with the Stalin era that came before it.

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Russia, Soviet Union, Newspaper, Morality, Khrushchev, Stalin, Stakhanov, Labor