Issue 4

SOCIAL MOBILITY OF THE RUSSIAN PEASANTRY IN THE LATE 1910S–1920S: CRITERIA, TRENDS, FACTORS
Year 2018 Number 4(61)
Pages 128-134 Type scientific article
UDC 94(470.5)“1941/1945” BBK 63.3(235.55)622
Authors Ilyinykh Vladimir A.
Topic HISTORICAL MOSAIC
Summary The article reconstructs basic trends of inter-class social mobility of the Russian peasants in the late 1910s–1920s. The amount of tractive force of each peasant household has been used as a criterion to assess its social and material status. Several stages of peasantry’s social mobility are determined based on the changing ratio of peasant households’ groups with different amounts of draft animals. In 1917–1920s impoverishment of the peasantry took place due to the food policy of the Bolshevik regime and catastrophically poor harvest. In the low yield areas the impoverishment phase moved on to that of pauperization. Since 1923 the agrarian economy of the region had been recovering under the New Economic Policy, while the dominant trend in the peasants’ social mobility was their transition to the wealthier social groups up to 1927. In the late 1920s the economic and social pressure on the well-to-do peasants led to leveling them out at a low income level. Despite the changing vectors of social dynamics in the 1920s the poor, not the middle, peasants were an absolutely predominant group in the Russian village. The New Economic Policy didn’t provide viable mechanisms to overcome poverty. It was impossible to modernize the country on the basis of small peasant households.
Keywords social mobility, peasantry, agrarian policy, NEP, levelling-out of the peasantry
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