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Title page for ETD etd-11122015-104023

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Mazurska, Joanna Maria
URN etd-11122015-104023
Title Russian Intelligentsia at the Crossroads: A Portrayal at the Turn of the 21st Century
Degree Master of Arts
Department History
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Francis Wcislo Committee Chair
Katherine Crawford Committee Member
  • intelligentsia
Date of Defense 2009-06-01
Availability unrestricted
In the early 1990s, the Russian intelligentsia encountered multiple new incentives in all realms: an ongoing democratic project with its opportunities for an open political activism, capitalism which mesmerized with easy gain, and finally, new intellectual and cultural trends of the Western world. What was missing was the all-encompassing state umbrella. In this essay, I argue that the new principles of pluralism and free choice that emerged in all areas of life, undermined the intelligentsia's identify, revealed its multiple flaws, as well as forced the intelligentsia to re-define its role. In this paper, I first reflect on the question of the intelligentsia's identity, and analyze how the traditional meaning of the term "intelligentsia" was transformed in the new reality. Then, I examine the condition of contemporary Russian intelligentsia by pointing outs its major vices, which have been revealed over the period of transformation. Finally, I pose the key question about future of the intelligentsia, and discuss its role in the new political, social and cultural reality. There is no doubt that the principle of pluralism and the multiple opportunities that emerged left the intelligentsia in search of a firm identity and a new role, one that would correspond to the new manifold reality, and that would also offer the intelligentsia reliable points of reference.
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