The article analyzes the level of involvement of female residents of Stalingrad/Volgograd in public activities during the Khrushchev Thaw of the 1950—1960s. Using comparative historical and biographical methods, empathically delving into the content of sources of personal origin, including oral history, the authors compared expected and actual factors of women’s participation in public activities, and also identified the motivational and emotional component of the everyday leisure of non-capital female citizens at the time in question. The article generalizes information about the social and political context of the creation of women’s committees and the hardships and difficulties that activists had to face on the path
of self-realization. It is concluded that, due to the heavy domestic workload, for most women, social activities normally associated with production and party work seemed difficult to implement, but a narrow stratum of those especially not indifferent to the social perspective outlined by the ideologists of that time found the time and energy for unpaid public work. This work could be the area of social policy and the area of responsibility of the regional administration, but a lot of everyday issues were solved by social activists who did their work, sacrificing hours of leisure and recreation. Years later, respondents remembered these women with gratitude.
Acknowledgments: this work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under grant № 22-28-01428 “Women’s history as the basis of Russian social optimism (non-capital urban everyday life of the middle of the 20th century)”.
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