Volume 65 Number 1 Abstracts

The Election News Story on Russian Television: A World Apart fromViewers

Ellen Mickiewicz

Winning elections is so vital forRussian leaders that competing viewpoints on national television news channelshave been scotched, together with the channels that broadcast them. This studyexamines the other side of the screen: how participants in focus groups in fourRussian cities process national channels' treatments of an important regionalelectoral campaign. The study was conducted during the last period in whichviewpoint diversity was still available via TV-6. Unlike findings about othernews stories, election stories appear to have little connection to viewers'experiences and values and deprive them of using familiar heuristics to makesense of the stories. For the public, the election story is a genre apart,framed by the same confusing template no matter what the office or region. EvenTV-6, soon to be shuttered, broadcast its combative message using thattemplate, thus extinguishing any opportunity for identifying genuine diversityand leaving the audience unable to distinguish between state and privatechannels, something they easily did for other types of stories. Electionstories only cue other election stories. It is mainly younger, "post-Soviet"participants, who bring an alternative frame to watching: norms, acquiredthrough their education, by which election stories in a democracy ought to be constructed.

Hang Him High: The Elevation of Jnok to an Ethnic Icon

Martin Votruba

In this paper, Martin Votrubatraces the evolution of the Jnok myth. The highwayman Jnok is a livinglegend in Czech, Polish, and Slovak cultures. Contrary to common claims, themodern celebratory myth of the brigand hanged in the eighteenth century is atodds with the traditional images of brigandage in the western Carpathians. Folksongs and The Hungarian Simplicissimusof the seventeenth century often anathematize highway robbery. High literatureof the mostly Slovak counties of the Kingdom of Hungary in theHabsburg empire similarly cast Jnok as a criminal. Yet some intellectuals,such as Pavol Jozef afrik, inspired by the robber in German literature,singled out Jnok from among other brigands and reduced that folklore-basedopprobrium. Others, such as Jn Kollr, resisted Jnok's rehabilitation.Subsequent Central European national revivals and ethnic activism prompted theSlovak romantic poets to reinvent Jnok as a folk rebel against social andethnic oppression.

The Jewish Question in the Genre System of Dostoevsky's Diary of a Writer and the Problem of theAuthorial Image

Raffaella Vassena

The second edition of the Diary of a Writer (1876-1877) marked acrucial point in Fedor Dostoevskii's literary career: in spite of critics'attacks, many "ordinary" readers were overwhelmed by the author's charisma andbegan writing to Dostoevskii from different parts of Russia, expressing their views onthe moral, social, and political issues dealt with in the Diary. Such success was also guaranteed by the original rhetoricaland genre system of the Diary of a Writer,which, wisely modulated and addressed, aimed to involve readers and persuadethem to share the author's beliefs. Raffaella Vassena explores the case of thearticle "The Jewish Question" in the issue of March 1877, where Dostoevskii's rhetoricactually failed to bring about what he had intended. By concentrating on newarchival materials, Vassena investigates the reasons for this failure andsubmits a new perspective on the controversial question of Dostoevskii'sattitude toward Jews.

"A New Enigmatic Language": The Spontaneity-Consciousness Paradigm andthe Case of Gladkov's Cement

Eric Laursen

Although Cement was a model for later socialist realism, Katerina Clark has arguedthat Gleb Chumalov does not achieve consciousness, a requirement for laterheroes, but instead remains spontaneous. In this essay, Eric Laursen arguesagainst Clark's widely acceptedinterpretation. By introducing the idea of instinct (class, worker,revolutionary), which Anna Krylova has shown to be central to Bolshevik thoughtin the 1920s, Laursen argues that Gleb does gain consciousness. Gleb does notmove from spontaneity to consciousness, however. Instead he learns to controland guide his own instincts and those of others. Two other characters also transformthemselves. Gleb's wife Dasha illustrates a similar but distinct path forwomen. Sergei Ivagin, who must abandon conscious thought to first developinstinct, illustrates a different path for the intelligentsia. The attainmentof consciousness is presented as a rebirth or maturation and involves the acquisitionof "conscious language." In the party purge at the end, those who speakunconsciously, therefore misleading and confusing the masses, are cast out ofthe party. The newly conscious Gleb and Dasha, who now speak properly, taketheir place as leaders.

Returning to Judaism after the 1905 Law on Religious Freedom in TsaristRussia

Eugene M. Avrutin

As a consequence of the 17 April1905 law on religious freedom, hundreds of baptized Jews petitioned to returnto Judaism. While the law paralleled the liberalization of the attitudes andvalues regarding religious differences that occurred in European societiesbetween the sixteenth and twentieth centuries, the reform also helpeddestabilize traditional social boundaries and religious identities in theempire. On one level, this essay examines the conflicts and problemsauthorities faced in categorizing a Jewish population that continually resistedconventional assumptions. In the context of rapid population movements,political and religious reforms, and increased acculturation, what it meant tobe "Jewish" was redefined, and administrators needed to establish an acceptablecriterion by which (baptized) Jews could be classified. On another level, thisessay draws on individual petitions and government correspondence to analyzethe personal choices and social dilemmas that baptized Jews faced when theyattempted to return to Judaism.

Soviet Veterans as an Entitlement Group, 1945-1955

Mark Edele

The article explores processes ofgroup integration and disintegration among Soviet veterans of World War II duringthe first postwar decade. Approaches that focus on generation, legal privilege,formal organization, social mobility, or ideological outlook miss theconsiderable sociocultural complexity of this group. Between the end of massdemobilization in 1948 and the foundation of the Soviet Committee of WarVeterans in 1956, former soldiers were integrated neither as a generation noras a status group with formal privileges and their own organization (as wouldbe the case in later years). What held them together was instead a shared senseof entitlement based on wartime sacrifice. During the first postwar decade,therefore, Soviet veterans are best understood as an "entitlement group." Onlyin the 1960s and 1970s was this entitlement group transformed into a statusgroup that became one of the major pillars of the late Soviet order.

Modernity, Modernization, and Management: Comparative, Historical,Theoretical, and Policy Perspectives

Erik P. Hoffmann

This essay explicates, develops,and assesses the basic argument in Rudra Sil's Managing "Modernity": Work, Community, and Authority inLate-Industrializing Japanand Russia.Sil presents "a flexible, integrative theoretical framework" and aninterdisciplinary, comparative historical narrative. He hypothesizes that a"syncretist" strategy, when founded on durable legacies and when filteredthrough "congruent" intrafirm relations, is much more likely than "modernist,""revolutionary," and "traditionalist" strategies to strengthen "managerialauthority" and economic performance in large industrial enterprises. Four casestudies (pre- and postwar Japanand Russia)attest to the benefits of "synthetic institutionalism" as a theory-buildingstrategy and of syncretic incrementalism as an institution-building strategy. Sil'sbooks focuses on the sources of managerial authority and the patterns ofshop-floor behavior, not on system dynamics and interinstitutionalinteractions. Nonetheless, Managing"Modernity" is a major work for multiple audiences and for multiple reasons.