1st Student's Major

Sociology and Corrections

1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

Kimberly Maas is an Applied Sociology Major in the Department of Sociology and Corrections at Minnesota State University, Mankato. She started college in spring of 2004 as a senior in High School. She has chosen sociology as a major because of the challenge it represents to understand the current world‘s society and how people relate to it. After school, she plans to attend graduate school for an MA in 2009, where she hopes to major in the Sociology of Education. She has learned basic Russian and plans to attend North-Eastern State University, Magadan, in December to conduct research for the College of Education, Educational Studies: Elementary and Early Childhood Department. Her hobbies and interest include: horseback riding, motorcycling, and computer gaming, and researching the regions of the former Soviet Union.

Mentor's Name

Emily Boyd

Mentor's Email Address


Mentor's Department

Sociology and Corrections

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This paper examines the impact of the transition of the Soviet Union on the experiences of citizens from the republics of the former Soviet Union and American tourists. It is an ongoing project that will, upon completion in fall 2008, include data collected from at least eight semi-structured interviews. So far, five semi-structured interviews have been conducted with individuals who are from the United States and who have traveled to the former USSR; or were natives of the former Soviet Union. The interviews have been transcribed and analyzed inductively with the goal of understanding (a) differences in life experiences across cultures, (b) how change in regime effects a person’s life story and (c) the importance of social traditions. My findings focus on the transformation of economic conditions after the transition and the social traditions surrounding alcohol consumption. Particularly, I show that the transition of the Soviet Union has opened a doorway for economic and technological expansion. It has allowed an increase in availability and acceptance of foreign products such as cell phones and cars. I also detail the traditions and customs surrounding alcohol consumption both before and after the transition. My analysis focuses on the social pressures to consume alcohol and how rates of consumption are impacted by economic and working condition.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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