Stalinist public or communitarian project? Housing organisations and self-managed canteens in Moscow's Frunze Raion

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Abstract

In 1929, when rationing was introduced widely across the Soviet Union, urban residents and housing organisations started to organise their own canteens at the residence level by collecting their ration books. These were called 'self-managed canteens' (samodeyatel'nye stolovye). Although this canteen project did not expand as expected during the food crisis of the early 1930s, the project was more successful in Moscow's Frunze raion. This was especially true of canteen No. 171, reportedly established at the initiative of housewives, which continued to operate until 1940 with a steady growth in gross sales, and which started to allocate part of its profits to local community activities. This unique case exemplifies a communitarian project by residents which might lead to a reconsideration of the 'public' under the Stalinist regime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1223-1246
Number of pages24
JournalEurope - Asia Studies
Volume60
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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