Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > "Don’t Gossip!": Exploring the Intersection of Past and Present in Post-Soviet, Diasporic Identities

In this master's thesis, I examine the identity of two Russian-speaking, diasporic groups: the first, an elderly community of Soviet immigrants living in Brooklyn; the second, an online community of Russian-speakers from all over the world. I investigate these groups' post-Soviet identities through the lens of a Medicare scam involving the first population, in which Nina Vatolina's (1915-2002) 1941 Don't Gossip! propaganda poster was displayed to encourage complicity. I parse what the poster's role in the scam indicates about the identity of its elderly, Brooklinite viewers, and analyze online, Russian-language reactions to the illegal application of Vatolina's poster for clues into the identity of this virtual diasporic group. I conclude that the former group is limited by its nostalgic relationship with its Soviet past, but that the latter group can comfortably vascilate between its Soviet and immigrant identities.