The Worlds Of Russian Village Women: Tradition, Transgression, Compromise

Paperback | January 10, 2013

byLaura J. Olson, Svetlana Adonyeva

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Russian rural women have been depicted as victims of oppressive patriarchy, celebrated as symbols of inherent female strength, and extolled as the original source of a great world culture. Throughout the years of collectivization, industrialization, and World War II, women played major roles in the evolution of the Russian village. But how do they see themselves? What do their stories, songs, and customs reveal about their values, desires, and motivations?
    Based upon nearly three decades of fieldwork, from 1983 to 2010, The Worlds of Russian Rural Women follows three generations of Russian women and shows how they alternately preserve, discard, and rework the cultural traditions of their forebears to suit changing needs and self-conceptions. In a major contribution to the study of folklore, Laura J. Olson and Svetlana Adonyeva document the ways that women’s tales of traditional practices associated with marriage, childbirth, and death reflect both upholding and transgression of social norms. Their romance songs, satirical ditties, and healing and harmful magic reveal the complexity of power relations in the Russian villages.

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Russian rural women have been depicted as victims of oppressive patriarchy, celebrated as symbols of inherent female strength, and extolled as the original source of a great world culture. Throughout the years of collectivization, industrialization, and World War II, women played major roles in the evolution of the Russian village. But...

Laura J. Olson is associate professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Svetlana Adonyeva is professor of folklore and theory of literature at St. Petersburg State University in Russia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:382 pages, 9.5 × 7 × 1.3 inPublished:January 10, 2013Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299290344

ISBN - 13:9780299290344

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Tradition, Transgression, Compromise
1 Traditions of Patriarchy and the Missing Female Voice in Russian Folklore Scholarship
2 Age and Gender Status and Identity: Structure and History
3 Subjectivity and the Relational Self in Soviet Rural Women's Stories of Courtship and Marriage
4 The Pleasure, Power, and Nostalgia of Melodrama: Twentieth-Century Singing Traditions and Women's Identity Construction
5 Transgression as Communicative Act: Rural Women's Chastushki
6 Magical Forces and the Symbolic Resources of Motherhood
7 Magic, Control, and Social Roles
8 Constructing Identity in Stories of the Other World
9 Death, the Dead, and Memory-Keepers
Conclusion
 
Notes
References
Inde

Editorial Reviews

“A gendered presentation of life in the twentieth-century Russian village, with its interplay of power and tradition . . . Industrialization, collectivization, and three wars took a catastrophic toll on the male population. A major result was the feminization of musical culture, including group singing. . . . This innovative study [is] an unprecedented appreciation of women’s contributions to Russia’s village life.”—The Historian