Eugenics in Russia and the Soviet Union

Nikolai Krementsov

in The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373141
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199940417 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Eugenics in Russia and the Soviet Union

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The history of eugenics in Russia has attracted relatively little scholarly attention. Eugenics garnered a warm reception among Russian hygienists and public health doctors. This article is concerned with the rise and fall of medical genetics in Soviet Russia and identifies three key components of eugenics. It further proceeds with the discussion of eugenics in revolutionary society and mentions that Russian eugenics' life span, institutional and disciplinary composition, patronage pattern, and research foci differed substantially from those in other countries. It discusses the relative weight of structures and historic contingencies in shaping the history of eugenics during the three distinct periods of its existence in Russia. It also mentions the relative role of international contacts and local traditions in molding Russian eugenics' institutions and activities.

Keywords: eugenics; Russia; medical genetics; structures; revolutionary society

Article.  7610 words. 

Subjects: Asian History

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