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Gender and Housing in Soviet RussiaPrivate Life in a Public Space$
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Lynne Attwood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780719081453

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719081453.001.0001

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Communal living by default

Communal living by default

(p.123) 7 Communal living by default
Gender and Housing in Soviet Russia

Lynne Attwood

Manchester University Press

This chapter explores the various forms of housing available in the cities in the 1930s. It concentrates on the so-called ‘communal apartment’ which became one of the defining features of Stalin's Russia. The conditions in barracks and hostels were hardly conducive to ‘cultured’ living. Given the conditions in barracks and hostels, it was comparative luxury for a family to have a room of its own in a ‘communal apartment’ or kommunalka. The communal apartment facilitated state control over citizens, and even persuaded them to participate in the process. The housing crisis inevitably had a major impact on personal relations. Housing management had played a major role in identifying candidates for disenfranchisement during the first Five Year Plan, but their role diminished with the introduction in December 1932 of the so-called internal passport. Disenfranchisement was brought to an end in 1936.

Keywords:   communal apartment, Stalin, Russia, barracks, hostels, housing crisis, housing management, internal passport, disenfranchisement

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