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Officially sanctioned theory and method of artistic and literary composition in the Soviet Union from 1932 to the mid-1980s. Following the tradition of 19th-century Russian realism, Socialist Realism purported to serve as an objective mirror of life. Instead of critiquing society, however, it took as its primary theme the struggle to build socialism and a classless society and called for the didactic use of art to develop social consciousness. Artists were expected to take a positive view of socialist society and to keep in mind its historical relevance, requisites that seldom coincided with their real experiences and frequently undermined the artistic credibility of their works.
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