Friendship Projects: Internationalization of the Student Construction Brigade Movement in the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1970s
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
The dissertation examines the Student Construction Brigade Movement (SCBM) in the context of Soviet internationalism and the Cold War and portrays it as one of the most unique youth movements in the world at that time. Under the umbrella of the SCBM and in the name of internationalism, students from both socialist and non-socialist countries voluntarily expressed a desire to engage in construction and agricultural work activities as well as cultural exchange. While examining these interactions, I argue that during the Cold War, global youth emerged as one key agent of internationalism through cooperative economic, political, and cultural activities on construction sites around the world. My research not only identifies the Soviet state’s goals in the SCBM (such as ideological indoctrination and demonstration of Soviet influence in beyond the country’s borders), but also reveals that the lived experience of the student exchange went far beyond politics or economics. Students of different nationalities and cultures directly communicated with each other, shared their worldviews, and created a positive basis for expanding their professional and personal contacts.
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