Title: Builders of Communism, 'Defective' Children and Social Orphans. Soviet Children in Care after 1953.
Period: Post 1800
Funded by: Wolfson Foundation Postgraduate Scholarship
Start year: 2015
My thesis deals with children in care in the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death. It explores how the Soviet leadership tried to form children in closed welfare (and penal) institutions into productive workers, how pedagogues theorized about the education of those children, how orphanage and boarding school staff tried to implement instructions in difficult material conditions, and finally how children lived and coped in these institutions.
The project strives to shed light on the inner workings of Soviet social policies from Khrushchev to Gorbachev, as well as on how marginalized groups found their way within the Soviet system.