Personal tales

Lynne Attwood

in Gender and Housing in Soviet Russia

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780719081453
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701768 | DOI:
Personal tales

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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

Chapter.  9525 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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