Russians - Sociopolitical Organization

In contrast to the abundance of pre-Revolutionary data, recent materials on Russian social structure are fragmentary. Clearly much has changed since 1985. It may be surmised, however, that traditional kin groups, informal networks, and elements of customary law have persisted to a considerable extent in areas least disturbed by migration (e.g., Ryazan and Tambov provinces). The pervasive social controls of the Communist party, designed to suppress alternative sources and processes of power, seem to have had major limitations and were often mitigated by kindred and friends acting in a "handshake all around" ( krugovaya poruka )—that is, exchanging and sharing food and other commodities in informal networks.

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