Political Posters, the Soviet Enlightenment and the Construction of a Learning Society, 1917-1928


  • Elena Ignatovich University of British Columbia
  • Pierre Walter University of British Columbia




This paper explores the construction of a Soviet learning society represented in Soviet political posters during the first decade after the 1917 Socialist Revolution. The theoretical framework is based on studies of learning societies, lifelong education and learning, Soviet education, and the theory of multiple modernities. We employed a post-structuralist discourse analysis that allowed us to explore verbal and non-verbal poster elements to identify key domains in the construction of the Soviet learning society. Our study identified six main discursive visual and textual messages in political posters as educational devices in the development of the Socialist learning state. Findings show that learning was embedded in broader social, political, economic and cultural practices and took multiple forms. Political posters served multiple functions: they were motivators for learning, learning devices, means to communicate the Soviet party-state agenda, and part of the social-political and cultural curriculum of the learning society to come.


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How to Cite

Ignatovich, E., & Walter, P. (2021). Political Posters, the Soviet Enlightenment and the Construction of a Learning Society, 1917-1928. European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, 13(1), 75–96. https://doi.org/10.3384/rela.2000-7426.3561



Open Paper