Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2010


In the following analysis, we will find that Soviet sociobiology did not develop incrementally out of daring interdisciplinary probes; rather, it seemed to spring forth fully formulated in the comprehensive Novyi mir article. Moreover, already in 1971, several years before Wilson's book established its controversial eponymous discipline in the United States, the biosocial paradigm was framed by its earliest Soviet proponents as a scientific vindication for diversity, pluralism, individual difference, heterogeneity, human rights, and ultimately, individual responsibility for one's own actions. In short, the same scientific discipline that in the west was associated with racism, reductionism, and social determinism developed in the USSR as a kind of code for alternative, socially progressive political views.

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2010, Association for Slavic, Eastern European, and Eurasian Studies. This article first appeared in Slavic Review: 69:2 (2010), 356-376.

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