Russian Culture and Environment

        Russia was a country in transition around the turn of the century.2  While in some ways, they were as advanced as western european nations, they were still behind in other areas.  The Czarist government, antiquated calendar, and frequent use of censorship are examples of this.  Being Jewish in the time that Vygotsky lived in Russia was also not without difficulties.  He faced discrimination particularily early in his life.
        When Vygotsky was young, his family was restricted as to where they were allowed to live.4  He also had to deal with the quotas of Jewish students admitted to universities.  Finally, the professions that Jews were allowed to pursue were also restricted, leading in part to his initial decision to study medicine when he went to Moscow University.
        Later in Vygotsky's career, after the Russian revolution of 1917, the social and cultural environment was ripe for change and new ideas.  This proved to be a benefit for Vygotsky since people were anxious to hear his ideas and the way he incorporated Marxist ideals into his psychological studies. 
Figure 3: The Sretenka street near the Sucharevkaya Tower. 
Photograph. The end of the 19th - the beginning of 20th century. 
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