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Research Guide to the Russian and Soviet Censuses

Research Guide to the Russian and Soviet Censuses OPEN ACCESS

Copyright Date: 1986
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 328
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    Research Guide to the Russian and Soviet Censuses
    Book Description:

    Taken together, the Russian census of 1897 and the Soviet censuses of 1926, 1959, 1970, and 1979 constitute the largest collection of empirical data available on that country, but until the publication of this book in 1986, the daunting complexity of that material prevented Western scholars from exploiting the censuses fully. This book is both a guide and a detailed index to these censuses. The first part of the book consists of eight essays by specialist on the USSR, six of them dealing with the use of census materials and the availability of data for research on ethnicity and language, marriage and the family, education and literacy, migration and organization, age structure, and occupations. The second part, a comprehensive index for all the published censuses, presents more than six hundred annotated entries for the census tables, a keyword index that enables researchers to find census data by subject, and a list of political-administrative units covered in each census.

    eISBN: 978-1-5017-0708-7
    Subjects: History
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Table of Contents

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  1. Part One: General and Topical Essays
    • Ralph S. Clem

      Seeking better to understand human societies, social scientists constantly confront the question of how to investigate socioeconomic and political issues. If these issues suggest themselves and are properly framed, the main problem then becomes the manner in which evidence can be marshaled, evaluated, and used analytically.

      Although there are several generic types of social science data (e.g., surveys, opinion polls, registration systems), in practice the primary source of empirical information on a society is almost always the national census of population. The United Nations defines a census of population as “the total process of collecting, compiling and publishing demographic, economic...

    • Robert A. Lewis

      Problems in the comparability of census data—that is, the extent to which definitions and geographic units vary over time—constitute a major obstacle to research in the social sciences. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the problems of data comparability in the Russian and Soviet censuses with respect to territory, the definition of various categories, and the periods between censuses. Also, details of a major effort to overcome many of these technical difficulties will be provided as an illustration both of the magnitude of the data comparability problems inherent in the Russian and Soviet censuses and of...

    • Lee Schwartz

      Many of the problems associated with the use of Russian and Soviet census data, as described in later chapters in this volume, derive from the historical and political context in which the different enumerations were conducted and the state of the art of census-taking at those times. Although the earlier enumerations were less technically sophisticated and less accurate than more recent ones, the availability of published figures has been increasingly curtailed in those censuses taken just before and after World War II. The following chronological review of census-taking procedures in Russia and the USSR addresses issues such as the organization...

    • Brian D. Silver

      The Soviet government emphasizes its leading role in the social and economic transformation of society. Information gathered from censuses is important for the periodic assessment of state policies. Therefore, census data on nationality and native language of the population serve as a way both to determine the ethnic composition of Soviet society and, in conjunction with other data, to assess and compare the progress of policies designed to promote the economic and social development of the nationalities of the USSR. Censuses, moreover, are the only source of systematic information on change in the ethnic composition and language preferences of the...

    • Michael Paul Sacks

      Occupations constitute a classification of activities of individuals which result in the production of economic goods and services. The term “occupations” is commonly distinguished from “industries, “defined as a “classification of the activities of organizations” involved in such production (Stinchcombe, 1983: 108). Throughout the world, occupation is a critical determinant of an individual’s social status. In preindustrial societies, occupation alone was probably a precise indicator of “dress, recreation, manners, patterns of association, speech, educational level, and other aspects of ‘life style’” (Bogue, 1969: 431). In modern societies, income and education are combined with a measure of occupational prestige to create...

    • Richard H. Rowland

      Urbanization and migration, which collectively comprise population redistribution, have been especially important in Russia and the USSR. This region has experienced perhaps the most rapid movement to cities of any major region in history and also some of the most significant long-distance internal migrations of any country (Lewis and Rowland, 1979). Urbanization and migration have an added importance because of their profound influence on Soviet society. Urbanization, for example, has been closely associated with rapid industrialization, modernization, and social change in the USSR, especially in the last half century. Migration is a necessary component of economic development—its chief function...

    • Barbara A. Anderson

      Soviet planners are interested in information on the fertility, marriage patterns, and family structure of the Soviet population because of the relevance of these data for monitoring and projecting population growth, for planning the demand for social services such as schools, for assessing social stability, and for studying the household economy. Both Soviet and Western researchers seek information on family and fertility in the Soviet population because of their bearing on questions of social structure and social change. Age of marriage, for example, is often regarded as an indicator of the social progress of women, as a large age gap...

    • Ronald D. Liebowitz

      Social scientists the world over require a knowledge of the quality and extensiveness of the education made available to, and attained by, individuals in the societies they are investigating. Education plays a pivotal role in shaping and integrating many of the changes that fall beneath the umbrella of “modernization,” including increased literacy, urbanization, migration, change in the occupational and work-force structure, and changes in fertility. Quite justifiably, education has been referred to as “the key that unlocks the door to modernization” (Kazamias, 1971: x).

      With a large part of social science research rooted in explaining both the reasons for and...

  2. Part Two: Index and Guide to the Russian and Soviet Censuses, 1897 to 1979
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
This book is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.
Funding is provided by National Endowment for the Humanities