These social upheavals, which are still unfinished, are best investigated through the medium of individual biographies. The only serious research on the subject so far has been done by Alexei Yurchak (2006) in his book, Everything was forever, until it was no more: the last Soviet generation. Although an excellent anthropological study of the late Soviet time, this book focuses on the older generation, whose careers successfully started in the late USSR and then naturally transferred to the ‘Post-Soviet’ stage. In my research , by contrast, I am focusing on the younger generation.
I argue that this last Soviet generation, aged now between, say, 37 and 43 years old, is distinguished by the following characteristics. First, from the demographical viewpoint, it may be regarded as a ‘lost generation’ in the sense that its proportion is the lowest among the other sectors of the population in active employment. Second, it has an ambiguous social identity, having lost a previous Soviet identity without gaining a new identity in the present Russia. Third, this generation is not active in the political life of contemporary Russia.
A series of biographical interviews should help construct an anthropological picture of the last Soviet generation, and hopefully clarify several of the issues raised in a project of this nature.