Individual and Society Lesson

While the Schedule-A interviews prompted subjects to share open-ended reflections on their life histories, the Schedule-B interviews asked specific questions about how Soviet society functioned and how these social policies shaped the lives of its citizens. Some of these interview scripts included a section titled “situations,” in which respondents were asked to reflect on how a typical Soviet citizen might respond to a hypothetical scenario in their family or work life. Through these questions the researchers hoped to gain insight into the character of Soviet society and how it might differ from non-communist countries such as the United States. These interviews present an opportunity for students to reflect on the ways in which values are shaped within individuals and societies, both in their own lives and in the lives of Soviet citizens.