Cover Osteuropa 6-8/2017

In Osteuropa 6-8/2017
Teil des Lesepaket Historische Soziologie

Soviet man
The emergence and reproduction of an anthropological type

Lev Gudkov

Deutsche Fassung


The October Revolution was the starting point for a vast social project: the creation of a new type of human. Over the course of 70 years of Soviet rule, a specific anthropological type was indeed created: Soviet man. He is characterised by the ideological standards that he is expected to fulfil, and by the almost limitless power of the all-encompassing state institutions. He reacted to the omnipresent contradictions between reality and the official norms by adapting and developing double-think. The repressive state formed the mentality of people so firmly that this type began reproducing itself. In Russia, Soviet man was the basis for the resurrection of the authoritarian state.

(Osteuropa 6-8/2017, pp. 91–111)