"National by form, socialistic by content": cultural policy of Soviet ascendance in the West Ukrainian village during 1944–1953

  • V. V. Starka Ph D (History), Associate Professor, Ternopil Volodymyr Hnatiuk National pedagogical University
Keywords: Western Ukraine, peasantry, Sovietization


An article is devoted to the analysis of the policy of Soviet ascendance in the cultural and common sphere of western Ukrainian village life during 1944–1953 years. The modern cultural and mass life of the Western Ukrainian peasantry is a unique symbiosis of customs that dates back to the times of Austro-Hungary, with the split of Polish bourgeois and Soviet proletarian cultures. The study of phenomena and processes that have a significant impact on the cultural life of rural residents as one of the most conservative parts of a social organism can give contemporaries an understanding in which spectrum the modern cultural life of villages will develop. Thus our study is relevant nowadays. Using the previous works of Ukrainian historians along with a new source-documentary
complex enabled the analysis of the cultural and mass life of the peasantry of the researching period. Methodological approaches to writing this research are based on analysis of various models of the cultural and mass life of the peasantry in particular historical circumstances under the conditions of the Soviet totalitarian regime. The material of the publication is structured according to the problem-chronological principle. Theoretical generalizations are made using
the methods of induction and deduction. In the process of analyzing the cultural life of the Western Ukrainian village it was established that the Soviet authorities proposed the transformation of it into national on the form but socialist in content. The whole complex of cultural measures of Soviet power was aimed at involving Western Ukrainian peasants into the achievements of the Soviet culture and developing a sense of a Soviet man in them. It’s worth mentioning that the characteristic feature of the region is total religiosity and consistent observance of religious ceremonial calendar in everyday practices of the population. The Western Ukrainian peasantry ususally perceives any innovations from the perspective of violating or not the established lifestyle. It should be admitted that the majority of citizens in the region, initially with interest responded to the innovations introduced and even began to take an active part participating in their distribution. Actually, the carried out new government’s policy of auditing the fund of rural libraries, excessive politicization of
cultural leisure, along with an active anti-religious campaign led to the abhorrence of local cultural innovations of the new government. As a result, Galician peasants gradually integrated into Soviet social and political reality. At the same time, the opposition to the active Sovietization of the land, in turn, forced the
Bolsheviks to gradually abandon the force methods, instead offering more liberal ways of commissioning the achievements of "Soviet culture".


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How to Cite
Starka, V. V. “"National by Form, Socialistic by Content": Cultural Policy of Soviet Ascendance in the West Ukrainian Village During 1944–1953”. Literature and Culture of Polissya, Vol. 94, no. 11i, May 2019, pp. 221-34, doi:10.31654/2520-6966-2019-11i-94-221-234.