Alexei Yurchak

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Alexei Yurchak
Алексей Владимирович Юрчак
Born (1960-07-21) 21 July 1960 (age 61)
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Notable worksEverything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation

Alexei Yurchak (Russian: Алексей Владимирович Юрчак; born 21 July 1960) is a professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley.[1] Born and raised in Leningrad, the Soviet Union, his research concerns Soviet history and post-Soviet transformations in Russia and the former Soviet Union.


Yurchak coined the term "hypernormalization" in his 2005 book Everything was Forever, Until it was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. The book focused on the political, social and cultural conditions during what he terms "late socialism" (the period after Stalin but before Perestroika, mid-1950s – mid-1980s) which led to the ultimate collapse of the Soviet state in 1991.[2][3] Yurchak argues that everyone knew the system was failing, but as no one could imagine any alternative to the status quo, politicians and citizens were resigned to maintaining a pretence of a functioning society.[4] Over time, this delusion became a self-fulfilling prophecy and the "fakeness" was accepted by everyone as real, an effect that Yurchak termed "hypernormalization".[5]

In 2007 Everything was Forever won the Wayne Vucinic award (best book of the year) from the American Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies.

Yurchak rewrote the book in Russian, expanding and revising it considerably. It was published in 2014 by NLO (Moscow) and in 2015 won the Prosvetitel (Enlightener) Award for Russia's best non-fiction book of the year.[6]



  1. ^ "Alexei Yurchak, Anthropology Department, UC Berkeley". Berkeley. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ Brandon Harris (3 November 2016). "Adam Curtis's essential counterhistories". The New Yorker. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  3. ^ Yurchak, Alexei (23 October 2005). Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More: The Last Soviet Generation. (In-Formation). Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691121178.
  4. ^ Adam Curtis (16 October 2016). "With documentary film-maker Adam Curtis". Jarvis Cocker's Sunday Service (Interview). Interviewed by Jarvis Cocker. London: BBC Radio 6 Music. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  5. ^ Neringa Klumbyte; Gulnaz Sharafutdinova (2012). Soviet Society in the Era of Late Socialism, 1964–1985. Lexington Books. p. 213. ISBN 978-0-7391-7584-2.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Alexei Yurchak | Anthropology".

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