FLRU 2520 Russia Today

Yale Richmond. From Nyet to Da. Study Guide

The Origins of Russia, page 5.
  1. Who were the first rulers of Russa?
  2. From where did Russia get its religion?
  3. Explain the concept of "Moscow, the Third Rome."
  4. What are the roots of Russia's distrust of the West?
The Cold North, page 8.
  1. How far north is Moscow?
  2. What is permafrost and how does it affect agriculture?
  3. Explain how the climactic conditions in Russia'snorthenr lands affect agriculture.
  4. 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?
  5. What are some of the effects of Russia's harsh winters on the Russian psyche and character?
Distance and Isolation, page 10.
  1. How many time zones are there in Russia?
  2. How long is a train trip from Moscow to Vladivostok?
  3. How would Russians most likely pass the time on such a trip in a small cabin with three strangers?
  4. Where are most of Russia's natural resources located?
  5. How did distance and isolation deter development of Russia's economy?
Communalism, page 14.
  1. Define sobornost, or communalism. What are its origins?
  2. What is a zadruga?
  3. What is a mir? What are other meanings of the word in Russian?
  4. How did the mir affect the Russian character?
  5. What is the Russian attitude toward individualism?
  6. What is the Russian attitude to close, physical contact? Provide specific examples.
  7. What is the Russian attitude toward intrusion in private affairs?
Nationality, page 20.
  1. Name some of the ethnic groups that are part of the Russian Federation.
  2. What are "autonomous entities"?
  3. What is the relationship between the autonomous entities and the central government?
  4. Where are there movements for autonomy and self-rule?
  5. Russian nationalism and the emergence of ethnic and racial violence.
Religion, page 26.
  1. What does Dostoyevsky have to say about Russians and Orthodoxy?
  2. In what ways do Russians still reflect their pagan, pre-Christian past?
  3. What are some of their superstitions?
  4. What is their view of sorcery and witchcraft?
  5. What are the origins of Russian Orthodoxy?
  6. How does Orthodoxy relate to the Russian disdain for dissidents?
  7. What are the various meanings of "Sobor", and how does it reflect teh Russian sense of community?
  8. How is Russian Orthodoxy egalitarian?
Women - The Stronger Sex, page 54.
  1. What is the percentage of female doctors in Russia?
  2. In what other professions do they also predominate?
  3. In what kinds of jobs is there full gender equality?
  4. How are household chorse shared by men and women?
  5. What's the popular Russian adage about wife beating?
  6. Why are there so many more "babushki" and so few "dedushki" in Russia?
  7. What is the Russian law on abortion?
  8. What percentage of women have abortions?
  9. What is the Russian attitude toward promiscuity?
  10. What's the Russian attitude toward discussing sex?
  11. What's the Russian attitude toward nudity in films?
  12. What's the Russian attitude toward emancipation and feminism?
  13. What is International Women's Day and what happens on that day?
  14. Why are Russian menand women attracted to foreigners?
Crime and Corruption, page 79.
  1. What are some exapmples of official corruption that the author lists?
  2. What is the attitude of the typical American businessman in Russia toward corruption?
  3. What are some instances when the typical Russian is expected to "pay up" to get something done?
  4. Why has tax collection been a problem lately in Russia?
  5. According to the author, why is corruption prevalent in Russia?
School Days, Rule Days, page 99. Start from page 103.
  1. What is the meaning of "vospitaniye?
  2. What ar some of hte changes made in the educational system by the 1990s?
  3. What kind of military training do Russian schoolboys get?
  4. What are some of the obstacles to reform the educational system?
  5. Most Russian pupils remain in the same homeroom throughout eleven years of school. How do they feel about it?
  6. In which academic areas do women predominate?
  7. How do students get admitted into universities?
  8. When do students select their major?
  9. Describe some of the main differences between the Russian and the US educational systems? Can you see any benefits to the Russian system?
  10. In which areas do Russian students who have emigrated to the US excell?
At Home, page 117.
  1. Hoow are Russians different in their behavior at home from at work?
  2. What part of the Russian house is the center of social life?
  3. According to the author, what is a good way to get to know Russians?
  4. What are some specific ways in which Russians show their hospitality
  5. What is their attitude toward gift giving?
  6. What are some of physical signs of affection practiced by Russians?
The Toast, page 121.
  1. Describe a traditional Russian toast.
  2. What is some advice you would give an American when toasting at a Russian reception?
Vranyo, the Russian Fib, page 127
  1. Provide a good, detailed definition of Vranyo.
  2. Provide some examples when a Russian might be giving you a vranyo.
  3. What is a "Potemkin village," and how did it get its name?
Nyekulturno, page 132.
  1. What does the word "nyekulturno" mean?
  2. List several example of typically Russian "bad manners", things we wouldn't consider as such in our culture.
Time and Patience, page 133.
  1. What ius the Russian's attitude toward time and being on time? How did they get this attitude?
  2. What does a typical Russian mean when he says "it will be done right away"?
  3. What is the author's advice when dealing with Russians who have this attitude toward time?
The Russian Language, page 135.
  1. In which language family does Russian belong? What are some other languages in that group?
  2. What are some of the difficulties in learning Russian?
Russians and Americans, page 145.
  1. Why do you think of all western countries, Russians are most interested in America?
  2. What are some of the tastes they share with us?
  3. What is the standard Russian complaint against Americans?
  4. What are some of the many exciting innovations int he lives of Russians that have come from America?
  5. What are some of the things that puzzle Russians about America?
  6. What do Russians think of the large influx of Westerners and Americans in Moscow?