FLRU 2520 Russia Today
Yale Richmond. From Nyet to Da. Study Guide
The Origins of Russia, page 5.
The Cold North, page 8.
- Who were the first rulers of Russa?
- From where did Russia get its religion?
- Explain the concept of "Moscow, the Third Rome."
- What are the roots of Russia's distrust of the West?
Distance and Isolation, page 10.
- How far north is Moscow?
- What is permafrost and how does it affect agriculture?
- Explain how the climactic conditions in Russia'snorthenr lands affect agriculture.
- There are cold cliamtes in amy other palces around the world, and people have adapted to it. Why do you think the same has not happened in Russia?
- What are some of the effects of Russia's harsh winters on the Russian psyche and character?
Communalism, page 14.
- How many time zones are there in Russia?
- How long is a train trip from Moscow to Vladivostok?
- How would Russians most likely pass the time on such a trip in a small cabin with three strangers?
- Where are most of Russia's natural resources located?
- How did distance and isolation deter development of Russia's economy?
Nationality, page 20.
- Define sobornost, or communalism. What are its origins?
- What is a zadruga?
- What is a mir? What are other meanings of the word in Russian?
- How did the mir affect the Russian character?
- What is the Russian attitude toward individualism?
- What is the Russian attitude to close, physical contact? Provide specific examples.
- What is the Russian attitude toward intrusion in private affairs?
Religion, page 26.
- Name some of the ethnic groups that are part of the Russian Federation.
- What are "autonomous entities"?
- What is the relationship between the autonomous entities and the central government?
- Where are there movements for autonomy and self-rule?
- Russian nationalism and the emergence of ethnic and racial violence.
Women - The Stronger Sex, page 54.
- What does Dostoyevsky have to say about Russians and Orthodoxy?
- In what ways do Russians still reflect their pagan, pre-Christian past?
- What are some of their superstitions?
- What is their view of sorcery and witchcraft?
- What are the origins of Russian Orthodoxy?
- How does Orthodoxy relate to the Russian disdain for dissidents?
- What are the various meanings of "Sobor", and how does it reflect teh Russian sense of community?
- How is Russian Orthodoxy egalitarian?
Crime and Corruption, page 79.
- What is the percentage of female doctors in Russia?
- In what other professions do they also predominate?
- In what kinds of jobs is there full gender equality?
- How are household chorse shared by men and women?
- What's the popular Russian adage about wife beating?
- Why are there so many more "babushki" and so few "dedushki" in Russia?
- What is the Russian law on abortion?
- What percentage of women have abortions?
- What is the Russian attitude toward promiscuity?
- What's the Russian attitude toward discussing sex?
- What's the Russian attitude toward nudity in films?
- What's the Russian attitude toward emancipation and feminism?
- What is International Women's Day and what happens on that day?
- Why are Russian menand women attracted to foreigners?
School Days, Rule Days, page 99. Start from page 103.
- What are some exapmples of official corruption that the author lists?
- What is the attitude of the typical American businessman in Russia toward corruption?
- What are some instances when the typical Russian is expected to "pay up" to get something done?
- Why has tax collection been a problem lately in Russia?
- According to the author, why is corruption prevalent in Russia?
At Home, page 117.
- What is the meaning of "vospitaniye?
- What ar some of hte changes made in the educational system by the 1990s?
- What kind of military training do Russian schoolboys get?
- What are some of the obstacles to reform the educational system?
- Most Russian pupils remain in the same homeroom throughout eleven years of school. How do they feel about it?
- In which academic areas do women predominate?
- How do students get admitted into universities?
- When do students select their major?
- Describe some of the main differences between the Russian and the US educational systems? Can you see any benefits to the Russian system?
- In which areas do Russian students who have emigrated to the US excell?
The Toast, page 121.
- Hoow are Russians different in their behavior at home from at work?
- What part of the Russian house is the center of social life?
- According to the author, what is a good way to get to know Russians?
- What are some specific ways in which Russians show their hospitality
- What is their attitude toward gift giving?
- What are some of physical signs of affection practiced by Russians?
Vranyo, the Russian Fib, page 127
- Describe a traditional Russian toast.
- What is some advice you would give an American when toasting at a Russian reception?
Nyekulturno, page 132.
- Provide a good, detailed definition of Vranyo.
- Provide some examples when a Russian might be giving you a vranyo.
- What is a "Potemkin village," and how did it get its name?
Time and Patience, page 133.
- What does the word "nyekulturno" mean?
- List several example of typically Russian "bad manners", things we wouldn't consider as such in our culture.
The Russian Language, page 135.
- What ius the Russian's attitude toward time and being on time? How did they get this attitude?
- What does a typical Russian mean when he says "it will be done right away"?
- What is the author's advice when dealing with Russians who have this attitude toward time?
Russians and Americans, page 145.
- In which language family does Russian belong? What are some other languages in that group?
- What are some of the difficulties in learning Russian?
- Why do you think of all western countries, Russians are most interested in America?
- What are some of the tastes they share with us?
- What is the standard Russian complaint against Americans?
- What are some of the many exciting innovations int he lives of Russians that have come from America?
- What are some of the things that puzzle Russians about America?
- What do Russians think of the large influx of Westerners and Americans in Moscow?