A dissident, broadly defined, is a person who actively challenges an established doctrine, policy, or institution. When individual dissidents unite in a common cause they may become known as a dissident movement.

Soviet dissidents

The term dissident was used in the Soviet Union during the period of 1965-1985, including Brezhnev stagnation, for citizens who overtly (or sometimes even subtly) criticized the practices or the authority of the Communist party. The people who used to write, tear and who distributed non-censored non-conformist literature samizdat were criticized in the newspapers. It was common to criticize an author in newspapers without publishing any of his works. Then, many people accepted the term dissident with respect to themselves. This radically changed the meaning of the term: instead of meaning a criminal, who opposes society, the term came to mean a non-conformist, who insists on the enforcement of officially published laws, including the international agreements, signed by the Soviet government. An important part of the activity of dissidents was informing society (Both inside the Soviet Union and in foreign countries) about violation of laws and human rights: see Chronicle of Current Events (samizdat) and Moscow Helsinki Group.


See also

External links

  • Free dictionary, http://www.thefreedictionary.com/dissident
  • Dissident Movement. Russian History Encyclopedia, http://www.answers.com/topic/dissident-movement

Search another word or see dissidenton Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature