What remains in the family history: the memory of “the Soviet” in the conversation of three generations

What remains in the family history:
the memory of “the Soviet” in the conversation of three generations

Omel’chenko E.L.

Dr. Sci. (Soc.), Prof., Head of the Center for Youth Studies at the National Research University High School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia eomelchenko@hse.ru

Andreeva Ju.V.

Сand. Sci. (Ps.), Assoc. Prof., Ulyanovsk State University, Ulyanovsk, Russia. yulia.andre@gmail.com

ID of the Article:

For citation:

Omel’chenko E.L., Andreeva Ju.V. What remains in the family history: the memory of “the Soviet” in the conversation of three generations. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2017. No 11. P. 147-156


The article considers the place of “memory about the Soviet” in the construction of generation stories in contemporary Russian families. The theoretical part presents current academic discussions around the “generation” concept and the place of the post/Soviet experience in its construction. The possibilities and the limitations of its application to the historical and contemporary debate are also described. The empirical part is based on the results of studying the familial memory culture. The analysis focuses on the mechanisms of generational consciousness formation, generational syndromes, the fixation of the historic events interpreted by the informants of three generations as significant moments of individual and family biographies. Attention is drawn to the narrative construction of generational experience, to the moments provoking intergenerational conflicts and collisions, to the presence of the “Soviet” in the history of Russian families and to the forms in which this Soviet becomes part of the younger generation’s collective memory.

generation; memory about the Soviet; intergenerational transfer; family history; generational identity


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Content No 11, 2017