Social Identity in Imperial Russia

Social Identity in Imperial Russia

by Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter


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Social Identity in Imperial Russia by Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter

A broad, panoramic view of Russian imperial society from the era of Peter the Great to the revolutions of 1917, Wirtschafter’s study sets forth a challenging interpretation of one of the world’s most powerful and enduring monarchies. A sophisticated synthesis that combines extensive reading of recent scholarship with archival research, it focuses on the interplay of Russia’s key social groups with one another and the state. The result is a highly original history of Russian society that illuminates the relationships between state building, large-scale social structures, and everyday life.

Beginning with an overview of imperial Russia’s legal and institutional structures, Wirtschafter analyzes the “ruling” classes and service elites (the land-owning nobility, the civil and military servicemen, the clergy) and then examines the middle groups (the raznochintsy, the commercial-industrial elites, the professionals, the intelligentsia) before turning to the peasants, townspeople, and factory workers. Wirtschafter argues that those very social, political, and legal relationships that have long been viewed as sources of conflict and crisis in fact helped to promote integration and foster the stability that ensured imperial Russia’s survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780875807287
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
Publication date: 06/22/2015
Edition description: 1
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Elise Kimerling Wirtschafter is professor of history at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. She is the author of several books, including Religion and Enlightenment in Catherinian Russia (NIU Press, 2013).

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Theater and Society
2. The Social Meaning of Plays
3. The Patriarchal Household
4. Civic Society
5. The Common Good
6. Moral Monarchy
Conclusion—The Individual in Society and Polity
Appendix—Biographies of Authors

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