Women’s Peasant Protest in Siberia in the First Half of 1930: The Phenomenon of a Radical Response to the Policy of Violent EtatizationIgnatyeva Evgeniya
The paper deals with the problem of the phenomenon of women’s protest during the process of “total collectivization” of the agricultural sector. The author investigates the phenomenon as social action within the framework of the structural-functional approach (M. Weber, R. Merton), which allows to eliminate ideological cliches and analyze women’s protest not as an affective social action (“Bab’i bunt” - women’s revolt), but as a complex social action in which the role of goal setting can be dominant. This approach makes it possible to establish the main characteristics of women's protest, its effect, and impact on the culture of peasant protest. It provides an opportunity to consider the processes of interaction between “authority – society” in the extraordinary conditions of “the Great socialist transformation”. Main sources are archival documents of the OGPU authorized representative in the Siberian region (krai); minor sources include archival documents of local party committees and Soviet organisations and also regional press. The author analyzes protest actions recorded by the OGPU officers with the participation of women in the first half of the 1930s, identifying the main characteristics of women’s protest, its forms, causes and motives, as well as the impact on peasant society and state policy. The author also reveals that this social action in the absence of a legal opportunity to influence the agrarian/peasant policy of the party was quite an adequate means to achieve certain goals of the protesters. “Bab’i bunt” was a marker of the extreme social life of early Soviet society during the “Great Break”, which demonstrated the radicalization of relations between the peasant society and authorities during a violent etatization of the village. The conclusion is that the women’s protest, as part of the general peasant protest at the first stage of “complete collectivization”, forced the authorities to adjust their policies and even seek some compromises.