«Easy money», wheelers-dealers, occasional victims: wealth and prosperity in late Soviet cinemaе

Volume 3, Number 4, 2018, P. 60–66


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The article is devoted to the analysis of the Soviet movies of the second half of the 1960s-late 1980s. The purpose of the analysis is to identify the stereotypes of perception of wealth and prosperity. The tasks of the analysis are to highlight the signs of wealth and prosperity, to describe the types of rich and wealthy characters, the ways to achieve wealth and prosperity, ways to spend money, typical money conflicts, and the attitude to the rich and wealthy people. Also, the study aims to determine the factors that could have influenced the positioning of wealth and prosperity in movies. We used the method of discourse analysis in the study of movies. As a result, typical views of the following nature are established: wealth is obtained illegally or by way of chance, prosperity is achieved through hard work and tough moral choices; the system of cronyism, the shadow economy and work in the field of trade contribute to illegal enrichment; wealth destroys people’s lives, the rich and signs of wealth are presented in a negative context, wealth in the Soviet Union is useless, because it is difficult to use it (there are few ways to spend money legally). A number of suggestions about the origins of such ideas are made: the influence of the ideology of the state and precedent texts of culture, as well as the late Soviet economic reality with its «hot spots» (shortage, cronyism, shadow economy, underdeveloped system of services, etc.).


Soviet fiction movies; stereotypes of perception; attitude to wealth and prosperity; late socialism; Soviet culture; Soviet economy


Mariya V. Vorobyova, Cand. Sci. (Culturology), Associate Professor of History and Philosophy Department, Ural State University of Economics, Yekaterinburg, Russia

For citation:

Vorobyova M.V. «Easy money», wheelers-dealers, occasional victims: wealth and prosperity in late
Soviet cinema. Sotsial’naya kompetentnost’ = Social Competence. 2018;4(3):60–66. (In Russ.).


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