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Sovietization is a term that may be used with two distinct (but related) meanings:
- the adoption of a political system based on the model of soviets (workers' councils).
- the adoption of a way of life and mentality modelled after the Soviet Union.
A notable wave of Sovietization (in the second meaning) occurred during and after World War II in Eastern Europe. In a broad sense, this included (mostly involuntary) adoption of Soviet-like institutions, laws, customs, traditions and the Soviet way of life, both on a national level and in smaller communities. This was usually promoted and speeded up by propaganda aimed at creating a common way of life in all states within the Soviet sphere of influence. In many cases, Sovietization was also accompanied by forced resettlement of large categories of "class enemies" (kulaks, or osadniks, for instance) to the Gulag labor camps and exile settlements.
In a narrow sense, the term Sovietization is often applied to mental and social changes within the population of the Soviet Union and its satellites which led to creation of the new Soviet man (according to its supporters) or Homo Sovieticus (according to its critics).
Most recently the term "Sovietization" is applied in a derogatory sense to processes in Russia under Vladimir Putin, with various authors putting various, often mutually contradictory, meanings in the word referring to various attributes of the former Soviet Union.
- various authors (2001). "Stalinist Forced Relocation Policies". In Myron Weiner, Sharon Stanton Russell. Demography and National Security. Berghahn Books. pp. 308–315. ISBN 1-57181-339-X.
- (Polish) Józef Tischner (2005). Etyka solidarności oraz Homo sovieticus. Kraków: Znak. p. 295. ISBN 83-240-0588-9.
- Aleksandr Zinovyev (1986). Homo sovieticus. Grove/Atlantic. ISBN 0-87113-080-7.
- Edward J. O'Boyle (January 1993). "Work Habits and Customer Service in Post-Communist Poland". International Journal of Social Economics 20 (1).