Political socialization of youth in the Soviet Union: its theory, use, and results
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The political socialization of youth in the Soviet Union was recognized by the early Bolsheviks as critical to the future of the new socialist society. Their efforts included plans for Unified Labor Schools and compulsory education to develop a literature and politically-aware proletarian force to continue the communist struggle. Later schools and political socialization became a matter of strict Communist Party control from the smallest Octobrist unit to the Young Pioneer zarnitsa camps to the university Komsomol organizations. Despite the vast resources dedicated to vospitanie and Basic Military Training for youth, these socialization efforts were remarkably unsuccessful in producing the New Soviet Man. This lack of success in political socialization was clearly demonstrated by numerous factors, among them the many youth resisting the draft prior to the break up of the Soviet Union, the speed of that break up, the emerging ties to the capitalist west, and the lack of faith in the economy. This does not mean that 70 years of life in a communist society did not socialize the youth to some extent. This research suggests that they were more affected by the lack of information about non-communist topics, such as a market economy and democracy, than they were by political socialization from the state
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