VAVULINSKAYA L.I. Contemporary Historical Literature on Family and Motherhood in Postwar Decades (1945–1965)


Lyudmila I. Vavulinskaya

Candidate of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher

Institute of Language, Literature and History of the Karelian Research Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Pushkinskaya St., 11, 185910 Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. The paper offers an analysis of historical studies on family and motherhood in post-war decades published in the 21st century, gives an account of the achievements of modern historiography on the subject, outlines the tasks for further studies. These topics have become compelling because of the declining value of motherhood and a prolonged demographic crisis in Russia.

Methods. The historiographic analysis in this article is based on the thematic-chronological method supplemented with the systemic, typological and comparative-historical techniques permitting the literature available on the subject to be systematized and analyzed. The article primarily focuses on publications by Russian historians.

Analysis. The main specific areas of research on family and motherhood are characterized. It is remarked that the pool of sources available has increased, and new research approaches and practices have been introduced. Contemporary authors have focused their attention on the analysis of the ideological background and principles of the Soviet gender policy, on the machinery of constructing the myth about equality of Soviet women. New aspects have been addressed, such as family private life, domestics role in its functioning, family conflict resolution practices, change in womans biological status over time, socio-ethical meaning of government awards for women, womans image reconstruction in post-war Soviet press. Researchers characterized the various stages in the Soviet family policy, marriage and family relationships in urban and rural communities. Studies on the legislative regulation of the family policy, social support to motherhood and childhood in postwar decades continued. The significance of the measures taken in this period to establish a system of medical aid and social guarantees and benefits for mothers was emphasized. The authors, however, remarked the persistent double work load on women, inequalities in payment rates and career.

Results. The substantial progress has been achieved in the coverage of the issue of family and motherhood in two post-war decades. The tendency for multidisciplinary research has been growing; new aspects of the problem have been investigated. At the same time, the issue of the organization of the family welfare system, womens value systems, their attitudes towards the social policy and methods of adaptation to the living conditions should be addressed in more detail.

Key words: historiography, family, family policy, matrimony, motherhood, post-war decades.

Citation. Vavulinskaya L.I. Contemporary Historical Literature on Family and Motherhood in Postwar Decades (1945–1965). Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2020, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 45-55. (in Russian). DOI:

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Contemporary Historical Literature on Family and Motherhood in Postwar Decades (1945–1965) by Vavulinskaya L.I. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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