Pincus, J. N. (2022). The Evolution of Letter-Writing Traditions Throughout Russian History. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.14418/wes01.1.2637
Letters hold an important place in Russian history. Since tsarist Russia, Russian regimes throughout history have used letter-writing traditions to shape society. These traditions have undergone numerous evolutions, while still maintaining traces of the original traditions. Prior scholarship has long debated how this tradition started and what its purpose was. This thesis examines the arguments and circumstances surrounding letter-writing traditions moving from the tsarist period, to the Soviet Union, to modern-day Russia and asserts that Russia has used letters as a safety valve, for surveillance, to shape the public, and as a public square at various points in history. The thesis goes on to explore how social media, which many scholars argue is unprecedented, in Russia today serves as a continuation of those strong letter-writing traditions.