Hilary Pilkington explores how Russian youth culture has changed since the introduction of "perestroika" and the collapse of communism. Her groundbreaking work applies the methods of cultural studies to the analysis of Russian youth. She deconstructs the social discourses within which Russian youth has been constructed and provides an alternative reading of youth cultural activity based on an ethnographic study of Moscow youth culture at the end of the 1980s. Pilkington also charts the development of western youth cultural studies in the twentieth century and suggests some ways forward in light of the Russian experience.
The first ethnographic study of Russian youth culture by a western academic, the book traces the cultural themes of youth culture in the Anglo-American tradition and within the former Soviet Union. It examines the impact of "perestroika" on the Russian media and its ramifications for the discussion of youth. The book includes studies of young people and youth cultural groups in Moscow drawn from extensive field work and interviews in the city.
"Hilary Pilkington's "Russia's Youth and its Culture is an impressive work of scholarship, conceptualization, and first hand observation. It draws upon an extraordinarily wide range of materials and fits them into a series of coherent and fascinating arguments. Steeped in the Western sociological literature on youth, Ms. Pilkington deploys questions about class, gender, geography, subcultural affects, and the changing dynamic over time to illuminate in a vivid way the debates and realities surrounding the endemic youth problem' in Soviet and post-Soviet history and society. It is an enriching contribution to social and cultural history of the last twenty years and absolutely essential to our understanding of what is happening in the cities of Russia-in-flux."
-Richard Stites, Georgetown University