chapter  10
20 Pages

An era of stagnation?

This chapter describes the question of whether the Leonid Brezhnev period was an "era of stagnation". The notion of "stagnation" also includes a negative moral and aesthetic assessment, a sense that late socialism was both repressive and drab. Contemporary society was in a newly conceived historical stage called "Developed Socialism", a long epoch during which science and technology would be used to perfect socialism. Brezhnev issued a statement that came to be known as the Brezhnev doctrine: The Soviet Union had the obligation to intervene wherever socialism was threatened. While scholars offer differing assessments of the dissident movement and debate the extent to which the politics and economics of the Brezhnev period stagnated, they agree that modernization brought profound social change. The chapter describes politics, economics, dissidence, social change and popular culture. Other scholars disagree with the notion that playing and listening to rock music was a form of political rebellion.