Analyze the patterns of social mobility in Soviet society. Do you think that the USSR used to be a more open society than the US?


Suggested length: 5-6 double-spaced, type-written pages per question
Procedure: Drawing on the assigned readings and class lectures and discussions, select and
answer two of the following three questions.
1. Inequality is a fact of social life that seems to be as pervasive under socialism as it is under
capitalism. The forms of inequality in the two social systems, however, are very different.
Briefly state similarities and dissimilarities in the social stratification systems in the United
States and the Russian Federation. Analyze the patterns of social mobility in Soviet society. Do
you think that the USSR used to be a more open society than the US?
2. It is commonly believed that socialization has something to do with the formation of national
character. Compare and contrast Russian and American socialization practices. Discuss the
impact that these practices have on the Russian and American personality traits. Do you think
that “national character” is a useful category for understanding the peculiarities of Russian and
American societies?
3. The Soviet authorities often pointed out to the place of women in Soviet society as a proof
that their system is better than the one found in capitalist societies. Compare the place of women
in Soviet and American society. Which society, in your view, has a bigger gender gap and what
are the prospects for gender equality in today’s Russia compared to contemporary America?


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