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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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Personal tales

Personal tales

(p.219) 12 Personal tales
Gender and Housing in Soviet Russia

Lynne Attwood

Manchester University Press

This chapter draws on the memories of Soviet citizens themselves, presenting the results of a series of in-depth interviews with people who, between them, lived through the full range of Soviet housing possibilities. Interviews were carried out in Moscow and St. Petersburg between March 2002 and May 2006, with a total of sixteen people. All but one of the respondents had experience of communal living. The neighbours were the most important and, usually, the most difficult aspect of life in the communal apartment. Violence was sometimes a problem in communal apartments. It is suggested that women who were unable to find husbands in the post-war decades might live their entire adult lives in hostel accommodation. The move to the single-family apartment made child care a more pressing issue. The importance of housing, and the ways in which the housing shortage distorted people's intimate lives are shown.

Keywords:   Soviet housing, Soviet citizens, Moscow, St. Petersburg, communal living, communal apartment, violence, single-family apartment, housing shortage

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