Oleg Kil'dyushov 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Beyond Totalitarianism: The Soviet as a Form of Sociality in N. N. Kozlova’s Research Program

2017, vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 173–182 [issue contents]
These reflections are dedicated to the creative heritage of the outstanding researcher of the “Soviet man,” Natalya Nikitichna Kozlova (1946–2002). In her works of the 1990s on the sociology of everyday life and socio-historical anthropology, a unique methodology was developed for the investigation of the human dimension of “modernization from above” that was provided within the politics of building a socialist society in the USSR. Her research program was focused on the theoretical reconstruction of social practices and modes of existence of the «ordinary Soviet man», understood as an “anthropological consequence” of the attempt of the realization of the communist project in Russia. However, her intention for the “disclosure of traces of little man in big history,” as it was expressed by the researcher herself, has nothing to do with the ideology-laden discourse of “totalitarianism.” N. N. Kozlova was not so interested in the forms of controlling the society as the lacunas in it, or in the techniques of totalitarian supremacy as in the practices of non-political resistance from below, or even in the totality as much as the discreteness of social matter of the new mass society. The “wrong” Soviet modern dropping out from the normative representations of Modernity was the main epistemological interest in her works, which is innovative from both the substantial and methodological standpoints. The investigative vision developed in Kozlova’s works retains its heuristic significance even today when Russia is experiencing a “Soviet Renaissance.” Moreover, her approaches to the study of the society of the “new type” allows for the anthropological understanding of the current state of our country. The paper reconstructs Kozlova’s research program regarding Soviet sociality as an object of social philosophy and social anthropology. The main focus will be the theoretical approaches to the analysis of the daily practices which allowed her to develop her unique methodology.
Citation: Kil'dyushov O. (2017) Po tu storonu totalitarizma: sovetskoe kak forma sotsial'nosti v issledovatel'skoy programme N. N. Kozlovoy [Beyond Totalitarianism: The Soviet as a Form of Sociality in N. N. Kozlova’s Research Program]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 173-182 (in Russian)
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