ATS3124 - Everyday life in the Soviet Union - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Paula Michaels

Not offered in 2017


The unit will examine how Communism transformed everyday life in the Soviet Union by reshaping social structures and communal ties. How did the Bolshevik ascent to power reshape the private sphere? How did the Communist authorities try to create the New Soviet Man and Woman and forge a new, Soviet national identity? What relevance do these efforts have for understanding today's post-Cold War Eastern European politics? Through literature, films, memoir, and other primary sources, students will study and analyse the impact of politics on popular culture, work, family life, education, humour, and gender relations. Readings, lectures, and tutorial discussions will explore the degree to which individuals carved out private spaces at home, at work, and in social circles to limit the impact of politics on private life. The unit will begin with a background on Russian politics and culture before the establishment of Communist governments and will end with an examination of the USSR's collapse and its aftermath. Discussions of primary sources in tutorials will provide students with the skills to analyse similar primary sources in their written work.


  1. The unit contributes to the making of responsible and effective global citizens who engage in an internationalised world and exhibit cross-cultural competence. Understanding the history of other cultures and countries as well as the political systems that have shaped those cultures is central to engaging in an internationalised world;
  2. Engage in international issues through the study of the political and social history of Eastern Europe as well as the relevance of this history for broader contemporary political debates;
  3. Be familiar with theoretical works about the history of everyday life, the varied methodologies that historians have used to research this history, and the intersections between political and social history;
  4. Develop research skills and analyse primary sources;
  5. Develop skills of critical reading and understand differences in historians' interpretations of the past;
  6. Strengthen effective communication skills through group discussions during tutorials.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.