Whose Right to Rest? Contesting the Family Vacation in the Postwar Soviet Union

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Abstract

The idea of leisure and vacations in the Soviet Union at first glance suggests a paradox. As a system based on the labor theory of value, the USSR emphasized production as the foundation of wealth, personal worth, and the path to a society of abundance for all. Work - physical or mental - was the obligation of all citizens. But work took its toll on the human organism, and along with creating the necessary incentives and conditions for productive labor a socialist system would also include reproductive rest as an integral element of its economy. The eight-hour work day, a weekly day off from work, and an annual vacation constituted the triad of restorative and healthful rest opportunities in the emerging Soviet system of the 1920s and 1930s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-425
Number of pages25
JournalComparative Studies in Society and History
Volume51
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science

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