Head of the Organising Committee
Sanna Turoma
sanna.turoma [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Coordinator
Kaarina Aitamurto
kaarina.aitamurto [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Secretary
Maarit Elo-Valente
maarit.elo-valente [at] helsinki.fi

Conference Intern
Miikka Piiroinen
miikka.piiroinen [at] helsinki.fi

Conference e-mail:
fcree-aleksconf [at] helsinki.fi

The Aleksanteri Institute

Unioninkatu 33 (P.O. Box 42)
00014 University of Helsinki
phone +358-(0)50-3565 802

aleksanteri [at] helsinki.fi


Past Aleksanteri Conferences

Olga Boitsova & Ekaterina Orekh (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera), Russian Academy of Sciences)

Short or Long, Pink or Black? "Soviet Taste" and Westernization in Post-Soviet Children's Fashion

Children's world constructed in Soviet discourse in the second half of the 20th century was in some aspects isolated from adult world. Children were perceived as innocent asexual beings, excluded from decency rules obligatory for adults. Notions of childhood were expressed, along with other means, through children's fashion. Kids were separated from adults with the help of dress cuts and colors; unlike adults, they were allowed to appear in public places with no skirt or pants on (e.g. in tights and a shirt). In the end of the 20th century, new discourses of childhood were introduced into Russia from the West. Among these was an upsurge of concern about the need to protect children against sexual crimes. Splitting children consumers by magnifying gender differences with the help of pink in order to boost profits, which had captured the global market since the end of the 20th century, was another newly introduced trend. And one more trend with which Russia got acquainted recently is moving children closer to adults. As regards clothes, it means abandoning the age-sex division in children's dress to some extent. The mix of Soviet traditions and global trends meets contradictory response among contemporary Russian citizens. We studied reception of these discourses from the perspective of sociology of taste. Our main source of data was a survey of Russian-speaking Internet users. Having processed 576 answers to the survey statistically, we found out that "Soviet taste" is displayed even in the post-Soviet period by people bred in the USSR. In the paper presenting some results of our research we will show that "Soviet taste" is still observed in Russia nowadays as regards children's fashion, intertwining with sympathies to new Western trends motivated by desovietization.