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10 December 2021

State policy on the protection of motherhood and childhood in the USSR in the first half of 1960s - the second half of the 1980s on the pages of the Soviet Woman magazine

Ancient Sumy Land
State policy on the protection of motherhood and childhood in the USSR in the first half of 1960s - the second half of the 1980s on the pages of the Soviet Woman magazine

In the article the author analyzes the materials of the magazine “Soviet woman” and explores the state policy on the protection of motherhood and childhood during the crisis period of the Soviet system of 1965-1985. Articles and messages on the pages of the magazine allow us to reconstruct the image of childhood, to determine which issues the childhood raised by the authors, to determine the ways of the state policy on protection of mother and child. The author of the article investigating the magazine, was trying to understand how much the childhood that was described in the journal corresponds to the Soviet realities. Periodic propaganda publications occupied an important place in shaping the concept of “Soviet childhood.” These sources are especially important because, on the one hand, it reflects the official social policy of the Communist Party, on the other hand, it allows to observe the transformation of the attitude of the state power towards the problems of the formation of the young generation of soviet citizens.Among such magazines should be “Soviet woman”. The articles in this magazine contain a variety of verbal and visual materials about childhood in the Soviet state. Exploring the materials of the “Soviet Woman” magazine, we can follow the changing status of the family, in the context of state gender policy. During the existence of the USSR, the status of the family varied from the emancipation of a woman, the gradual disappearance of the family, the idea of socializing children in the transition to a communist society, but in the 1960s the Communist party recognised the soviet family, as an important social institution and began the encouragement of its consolidation and development . Throughout its existence, the magazine has often changed its perspective, in accordance with the tasks determined by party politics. Thus, in the first post-war decade, the magazine served as a newspaper, that reported operational political information. The authors of the articles promoted the exploits of the heroine mothers during the war years and their active participation in the rebuilding of the national economy. By implementing the new program of the Communist Party, which envisaged an improvement in the demographic situation in the USSR, political information from the middle of the 1960s was suppressed by materials related to the protection of motherhood and childhood. In 1965-1985, the Soviet Woman’s magazine reflected and disseminated the Soviet ideology of childhood, the benefits of social policy, covered issues of infrastructure development and material culture for children, pedagogical doctrine. The imaging of the future builders of communism on the pages of the magazine formed a rather contradictory and ambiguous childhood image, which included both Soviet myths about children and the real problems of children and their parents. The actual material presented in the journal is rather incomplete and needs to be verified, but official representations, social expectations and mood on children, which are reflected in the publications, are valuable material for studying the Soviet policy of educating the new generation.

Source: Topolnytska Y. A. (2017) State policy on the protection of motherhood and childhood in the USSR in the first half of 1960’s - the second half of the 1980's on the pages of the “Soviet Woman” magazine. Ancient Sumy Land. № L: 57-68

Source web-site: https://starovyna.sumdu.edu.ua/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/5-%D0%A2%D0%BE%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%86%D0%BA%D0%B0.pdf

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