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Stalin's Reform of Russia

Nov 11, 2000 412 Words
Every Day Stalinism, by Sheila Fitzpatrick gives the real accounts of life under the control of Joseph Stalin. Fitzpatrick states her claim as to how Stalin remained in power for over twenty-five years by using methods of oppression and by implementing modernity. One of the main reasons that Stalin stayed in power was by implementing modernity into a society that had previously been stuck in a traditionalized environment. Fitzpatrick describes how Stalin changed peoples lives in the Soviet Union by advancing there means of production to bring them up to speed with the rest of the western world. Stalin's production of more factories led to the increase in the work force. Along with the increase in size, the work force became more diversified with the addition of women. These improvements however had some setbacks. One being problems in family life, this can be accredited to the implementation of women in the work force. Modernization made Russian women no longer subordinate to men. They were now able to obtain jobs, which made them absent from the household. This surge in the number of factories and jobs offered led to "ten million women entering the labor market."(Fitzpatrick 139) The bond between child and mother was broken as women were not raising their children and began seeing "the upbringing of children as a community rather then family responsibility." (Fitzpatrick 156) This new mentality would never have come about if women were not placed in the work force. Women went from traditionalized lifestyles to believing that "they should have careers" because raising a family was only for the "bourgeois." (Fitzpatrick 156-160)

Conflicts with men arose quite rapidly as women were now not only in the work force, but being promoted as well. (Fitzpatrick 161) These conflicts could have been the cause for the divorce rate to increase during this time.

The families that were in tact were forced to live in cramped quarters. Thanks to modernization these single room apartments had bathrooms and kitchens, which Stalin would argue, made "life more cheerful." (Fitzpatrick 6) However "cheerful" these conditions may have seemed to Stalin, these unbearable living areas led to an increase in children forced to live on the streets or join gangs.

Modernity lead to the liberation of women and brought people off farms and into cities. Although this may seem to be beneficial towards a society, in the Soviet Union, it brought nothing but distress and disruption to family life.

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