Private Matters or Public Crimes: The Emergence of Domestic Hooliganism in the Soviet Union, 1939–1966

  • Brian LaPierre


An illustration in a 1964 issue of Krokodil depicts a young man roaming the city streets and harassing innocent pedestrians.1 This was the stereotype of hooliganism that many Soviet citizens encountered in films and read about in novels and newspapers. This stereotypical portrait reflected common ideas about who hooligans were and what they did. It also reflected contemporary concerns over urban crime, youth culture, alcoholism, and public safety. It reflected many things. But, like most stereotypes, it did not reflect reality. By the mid–1960s, the typical Soviet hooligan was not an adolescent loitering on a city street and assaulting pedestrians. He was a married man who stayed at home with his family and who victimized his wife and children.


Public Place Public Concern Criminal Code Spousal Abuse Private Matter 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 3.
    On the supportive role of the Soviet family see H. Kent Geiger, The Family in Soviet Russia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1968), 327–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 4.
    For the text of the circular see Sovetskaia iustitsiia no. 22 (1935), backpage. See also Sheila Fitzpatrick, Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, Soviet Russia in the 1930s (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999), 48.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    A. A. Gertsenzon, Ugolovnoe pravo i sotsiologiia (Moscow: lurid lit-ra, 1970), 92.Google Scholar
  4. 51.
    For information on the comrades’ courts and druzhina see Theodore H. Friedgut, Political Participation in the USSR (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979), 249–262.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Lewis H. Siegelbaum 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian LaPierre

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations