Levinson Kirill

Office hours of soviet scholars in the period after World War II

Levinson Kirill (2019) "Office hours of soviet scholars in the period after World War II ", Vestnik Pravoslavnogo Sviato-Tikhonovskogo gumanitarnogo universiteta. Seriia IV : Pedagogika. Psihologiia, 2019, vol. 52, pp. 75-110 (in Russian).

DOI of the paper: 10.15382/sturIV201952.75-110


This article deals with offi cial working hours of Soviet academic staff members and university researchers, i.e. how it was regulated, used, structured, perceived and discussed. The period studied in 1945‒1991; the research takes into account both professors and teachers of higher educational institutions and researchers of scientifi c institutions in the system of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, Academy of Medical Sciences, Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, as well as branch ministries, because many of them combined or alternated work at university with work for an academic institute. Besides, this allows us to make exciting comparisons. The study draws on the data of questionnaire interviewing carried out by Yu. Sheinin in the early 1970s through Literaturnaia gazeta, interviewing carried out by the author of the article by email in 2018, as well as relevant memoirs. The article makes the following conclusion: working hours in Soviet science and higher school in the postwar decades were regulated mainly with the aim of maintaining “labour discipline” as a means of administrative control on all levels rather than a care for increasing effi ciency of scholarly work. This regulation was implemented according to the model of all state instutions, with minimal consideration of the specifi city of academic and educational institutions. As Stalin’s militarised forms of administration were gradually giving way to a gentler practice, the control of labour discipline (the main part of which was coming to work in due time and being present in the offi ce) was losing its severity and consistence, and towards the end of the Soviet period in certain institutions it transformed into non-regular and often imitational campaigns. Staff ers do not remember any attempts to really restrict their working day by means of limits established by law.


Soviet history, Soviet academia, Soviet professors, Soviet scholars, working time, working day, day-off , vacation, leave, fixed working hours, irregular working hours, presence at workplace


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Information about the author

Levinson Kirill

Academic Degree: Candidate of Sciences* in History;
Place of work: National Research University «Higher School of Economics»; 20 Miasnitskaya, Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation;
Post: Leading Researcher;
ORCID: 0000-0002-3106-5574;
Email: klevinson@hse.ru.

*According to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011, the degree of Candidate of Sciences (Cand.Sc.) belongs to ISCED level 8 — "doctoral or equivalent", together with PhD, DPhil, D.Lit, D.Sc, LL.D, Doctorate or similar.