Date of Submission

Spring 2017

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Historical Studies; Russian and Eurasian Studies

Project Advisor 1

Marina Kostalevsky

Project Advisor 2

Sean McMeekin

Abstract/Artist's Statement

State-sponsored violence has permeated the lives of the Russian people for over a millennium. But it has been and is accepted as the price to be paid for national security to combat enemies from without and within, and to keep the country moving forward.

I will show the persuasive methods that allow totalitarian conditions to prevail in a society: from distortion of national memory to romanticize violence; coping mechanisms which breed a mentality of unawareness and denial that allow for the perpetuation of violence; and the effect of transgenerational trauma which allows violence to infect family tradition. I will show the cultural mechanisms by which violence can be transformed into virtue across generations.

Next, I will analyze cultural tropes--that of the 'pure Russian' and the 'strong family'-- used in Stalin's time to breed submissiveness and obedience, which in turn perpetuate violence.

Next, I will explore the rise and rule Vladimir Putin as a case study of my preceding theoretical claims, exposing the violence in contemporary Russia implemented by its leader.

Finally, I will shift attention away from these emic factors in Russia’s culture of violence to analyze the influence and possibilities of Western nations. To do this, I will analyze Western perceptions on Russian violence through the lens of one of its biggest antagonists, the United States. Sometimes allies and sometimes opponents, the United States and Russia epitomize the increasingly global implications of cultural violence.

Through my paper I will answer the question: Does Russia love the whip?

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

This work is protected by a Creative Commons license. Any use not permitted under that license is prohibited.