Pop Culture Russia!

Media, Arts, and Lifestyle

by Birgit Beumers


What would Stalin have thought about Russia's latest export, the six-member country music band Bering Strait, who have recently been featured on 60 Minutes and in Vogue magazine? While these Siberian teenagers may not rank with the Bolshoi or Tarkovsky's films as gifts to the world, they are an indication of just how "new" the new Russia is.

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June 2005


Pages 399
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Culture
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    Hardcover: £73.00/79,00€/A$121.00

A revealing look at contemporary Russian popular culture, exploring the historical and social influences that make it unique.

Pop music is only one aspect of contemporary Russian culture that has taken some unexpected turns in the chaotic aftermath of the Soviet Union's collapse. Television and advertising, theater and cinema, athletics and religion, even fashion and food now reflect more exposure to the West, yet remain in essence distinctively Russian.

Pop Culture Russia! introduces readers to the fascinating, often surprising, post-Soviet cultural landscape. With chapters on media, the arts, recreation, religion, and consumerism, the book offers an insightful survey of Russian mass culture from the death of Stalin in 1953 to the present, exploring the historical significance of important events and trends, as well as the social and political contexts from which they emerged.


  • A brief introduction to the cultural and historical significance of post-Soviet Russian culture
  • Case studies on influential figures such as Vladimir Vysotskii and Alexei Balabanov, who exemplify the manifestations of Russian mass culture


  • Covers the whole spectrum of Russian popular culture
  • Written for an introductory-level audience
  • Evaluates the cultural impact of Russia's recent political and economic upheavals
Author Info

Birgit Beumers, PhD, is a senior lecturer in the Department of Russian Studies at the University of Bristol, Bristol, England. She is editor of the online journal KinoKultura, which is devoted to contemporary Russian film. She specializes in contemporary Russian culture, cinema, and theater and her published works include Yury Lyubimov at the Taganka Theatre, 1964–1994 and Nikita Mikhalkov.



"This is a truly engaging and informative work of popular culture in a country which, during the past two decades, has experienced such drastic changes in almost every aspect of the society."American Reference Books Annual

"The collection presents a great range of material on popular culture in focused, incisive analyses of specific phenomena. It provides an invaluable resource for understanding the complex social and political changes in contemporary Russia."The Russian Review

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