E. Yu. Zubkova. From a “survival society” to a “consumption society”: the transformation of conditions and practices of consumption in the USSR (1940s–1960s) // Petersburg Historical Journal, no. 4, 2022, pp. 45–61
The article considers the main tendencies of transformation of conditions and practices of consumption in the USSR as one of the key indicators of change of the standard of living and quality of life of the population — from the end of the Second World War to the end of the 1960s. The vector of these changes can be conventionally denoted as a movement from the “society of survival” to the “society of consumption” and at the same time as a response to the delayed expectations of people in 1945. To what extent was this process in line with world trends and what was the Soviet specificity? Does the concept of “consumer society” apply to Soviet social realities at all? Did it exist as a phenomenon written about by his chief theorist and critic J. Baudrillard? The research focuses on conditions of realization of consumer expectations and practices of the population (economic, political, ideological, mental), strategies and motives of consumer behavior, change of consumer demand and its resource provision. Based on the analysis of scientific literature, statistical data and the results of sociological research, the conclusion is made about the gradual formation in the USSR of a specific, “Soviet” variant of consumption society — “society of consumption under deficit”.
Soviet Union, social policy, everyday life, consumption, standard of living, poverty, things, public sentiment.
Zubkova, Elena Yurievna — Dr. of Historical Sciences, Chief Researcher, Head of the Center for
Social History of Russia, Institute of Russian History of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow).