Table of Contents
The essays in this volume assess key aspects of Soviet society and social policy under Gorbachev. It provides a survey of Soviet family problems and demographic change, economic and labour policy, the alcohol problem, nationality policy, and trends in culture and communications. Mark Field describes the contemporary Soviet family and the USSR's high and climbing rates of divorce, illegitimacy, abortion, and infant mortality, Vladimir Kontorovich discusses the poor distribution of labor and skills and the ineffective incentive structures in the Soviet economy. The campaign to stamp out alcoholism (a factor in declining life expectancy) is chronicled by Vladimir Treml. Paul Goble argues that minority nationalism in the USSR today primarily involves competition with Russians (or other ethnic groups) for good jobs and scarce resources. Anthony Olcott analyzes recent trends in both high culture and popular culture. What is being published in the era of glasnost and what are the Soviet people actually reading and watching? Ellen Mickiewicz describes the changes in communications technology and in television and radio programming in recent years.