The Influence of Communal Living on People’s Culture in the Soviet Union
The shortage of housing after the revolution in Russia led to the poor living conditions that the natives experienced. Among the challenges that they faced included housing where they were forced to live in communal houses. The apartments accommodated different families where they had common bathrooms and kitchens. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Soviet Union government needed the citizens to relocate to urban areas to work in the industries. During the time, there was a lot of industrialization in the country due to the new revolution characterized by the advancement of technology (Zubok 213). There were many activities in the industries that played a great role in the economic development of the country, but there was a great challenge in housing. The national unity was among the factors that led to an increase in economic development in the country as the residents worked together for a common goal. The communal living in the Soviet Union influenced the culture of the people by encouraging shared responsibility, respect for other people and the ability to embrace diversity.
Because of the communal living, the citizens lacked privacy, as they had to share most of the household facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens. To keep the shared facilities clean, the families had to share responsibilities equally so that they could live in harmony (Birman, Edison, and Buchanan 97). The citizens developed a culture of sharing responsibilities equally; this was passed on to other generations and even the current generation. The culture has greatly influenced the national peace and unity in the country as people have learnt to live with each other harmoniously. Sharing responsibilities equally promoted peace, as people understood the importance of peaceful co-existence. The concept of equality was among the most important values that the Russians upheld, and it played a great role in enhancing national peace and unity. The lawmakers and other government agencies use the value in their activities to ensure that the citizens are treated equally. This has played a great role in the economic development of the nation in all aspects of the economy. For instance, the issues of industrial actions are minimal in the country due to equality, thus promoting economic development.
The nature of life in the communal apartments forced the families to respect each other regardless of their social classes. The social classification of communities was eliminated, leading to a united and more cohesive society (Hosking 159). People were forced to live with strangers and they had no choice of who their neighbors were. The citizens learnt to embrace their diversity and respect others regardless of their social and economic backgrounds and this tradition has been passed on to generations for years. It is one of the factors that have promoted peace and unity in the country, as people know how to accommodate different opinions from others. The culture also attracts the foreign nations into the country because the citizens are friendly, and issues of discrimination are minimal.
Communal living in the Soviet Union enabled the society to learn how to embrace diversity. Although the living conditions were poor, people learned to live with one another harmoniously by embracing their differences. This aspect promoted peace and togetherness as individuals cared for one another. The communal living also led to the development of a culture of shared responsibility that has promoted social justice and peace in the country. The government could not meet the housing needs of the population, forcing them to live in shared apartments and barracks. At first, the natives found it hard to accommodate differences among families, as they were strangers. The diversity of the families led to an increase in conflicts among the residents, but it played an important role in uniting the natives as they learnt how to embrace diversity
In conclusion, the economic, social, and political development in the country has been greatly influenced by the communal living. The culture has influenced the decisions that politicians in the country make regarding the welfare of the people. The population in the countryside was faced with acute poverty that forced a majority of them to relocate to the urban areas to look for jobs. Although the government supported these populations by subsidizing the cost of rent, electricity, and water, life in the shared apartments and barracks was unbearable. The people did not have a choice of the houses or the neighborhood, and this forced them to live with strangers. Living under one roof with families that had different cultures created many conflicts among the populations but eventually they learnt the strategies of living together with strangers. The unity developed in the country contributed greatly to the economic development of the nation. The fact that the citizens respect cultural differences among people has attracted foreigners who are interested in different activities such as employment and tourism. The communal living did not only impact the lives of early generations but led to the development of a positive culture that exists even today.
Birman, Dina, Edison Trickett, and Rebecca M. Buchanan. “A tale of two cities: Replication of a study on the acculturation and adaptation of immigrant adolescents from the former Soviet Union in a different community context.” American journal of community psychology 35.1-2 (2005): 83-101.
Hosking, Geoffrey A. Rulers and victims: the Russians in the Soviet Union. Harvard University Press, 2006.
Zubok, Vladislav M. A failed empire: the Soviet Union in the Cold War from Stalin to Gorbachev. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2009.