« 2021. # 6 (162)

The Ethnology Notebooks. 2021. № 6 (162), 1413—1434




SUDYN Danylo

  • Candidate of Sciences in Sociology,
  • Research Fellow of Department of Social Anthropology,
  • The Ethnology Institute of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine,
  • Associate Professor at Sociology Department,
  • Ukrainian Catholic University,
  • Contacts: e-mail:

Abstract. The article examines the dynamics of attitudes towards Stalin in Ukrainian society during 1991—2021 — using data of sociological surveys conducted in Ukraine at that time. The main methodological problem is the use of identical wording in different surveys: in the case of using different questions the data is incomparable. The article provides list of the main questions used in surveys studying attitudes towards Stalin. The choice of one of them is explained. This question required respondents to express the level of their agreement or disagreement with the statement «Stalin was a great leader». Article provides empirical analysis, which shows that this question can serve as a valid indicator of attitude towards Stalin. The second component of the article is an analysis of trends in attitudes towards Stalin. In particular, the data were analyzed according to different age cohorts and obtained result shows that all of them have the same dynamics of attitude, although the level of positive attitude towards Stalin is different age groups. The third component of the article is an analysis of the main factors of this attitude. A general theoretical model is proposed, which includes four factors: social injustice (with subfactors of ontological security and financial situation), authoritarianism, conservatism and identity (with subfactors of ethnic self-identification and the idea of «fraternal peoples»). Two additional factors are also taken into account — the age and region of residence of the respondents. The main method of data analysis was multiple linear regression, which was applied to data of 1991, 2002 and 2006 surveys. Three regression models were built — the base and two additional. This was inevitable, as not all variables were present in all three waves of the survey. The obtained results allowed to identify both the main factors of attitude to Stalin and to identify trends in their role over time. Thus, there are four periods in relation to Stalin in Ukrainian society after 1991, and different factors change their role during these periods. But the article aims not only to analyze the attitude towards Stalin, but also to identify patterns of relations to the Soviet past in Ukrainian society. The attitude towards Stalin is one of the aspects of this past. Therefore, the obtained results can serve as source of hypotheses for further research about the memory of the Soviet period in the history of Ukraine.

Keywords: historical memory, collective memory, Stalin, Ukrainian society, public opinion, social factors.

Received 1.09.2021


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