The humanities and social science

2016 Issue №3

Between nation and gender: History of beards in Western Europe and Russia, 1830—1880


This article focuses on the increasing popularity of beards in Western Europe and Russia in the 1830s—1880s. The main hypotheses explaining this phenomenon in Western Europe are analysed and the Western and Russian practices compared. It is concluded that, from the mid-19th century, the beard was a symbol of national unity – the unity of peasants and the educated class in Russia, whereas it emphasised gender inequality and the exceptional status of men in the society and politics in Western Europe.

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