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Postsocialism: Ideals, Ideologies and Practices in Eurasiaby C M Hann
Synopses & Reviews
Social scientists did not predict the collapse of the socialist system in 1989-91 and their attempts to explain postsocialism have not been comprehensive. Economic disintegration and political instability have been documented, but the deeper causes have often gone unnoticed. Consequently the solutions proffered, such as the promotion of non-governmental organisations as the foundations of 'civil society', have so far brought little success.
Postsocialism presents, for the first time, the anthropological responses to these problems which are all grounded in intensive fieldwork. The authors demonstrate that even when local conditions are specific, the view 'from below' illuminates macro trends. A wide range of topics are discussed, including:
*the role of social and cultural capital in determining the 'winners' of rural decollectivization
*the devaluation of blue collar labour
*the position of Gypsies
*the viability of 'multicultural' models in situations of religious differences and ethnic violence
*new patterns of consumption in China
*the revival of rituals and the healing of socialist 'trauma'. _
Economic disintegration, political instability and considerable changes to individual lives was experienced in Eurasia following the collapse of the socialist system in 1989-91. This volume presents the anthropological responses to these problems.
Social scientist did not predict the collapses of the socialist system in 1989-91. Their attempts to explain postsocialism have not been comprehensive. This book examines why, for the first time from an anthropological standpoint.
Social scientists did not predict the collapse of the socialist system in 1989-91 and their attempts to explain postsocialism have not been comprehensive. Postsocialism presents, for the first time, the anthropological responses to this.
The forcible imposition of socialist rule destroyed the integrity of many communities and individual lives; the impact of its demise has also been shattering for millions of citizens in postsocialist Eurasia. Beneath the change, anthropological analysis brings out significant continuities, both in values and in actual behaviour. Time was not 'frozen' during the two or three generations of socialist rule. Rather, the contours of postsocialist society are being shaped by a continuous stream of evolving institutions and practices, which emerges only slowly from the valley of socialism. The term postsocialist will remain pertinent so long as the ideals, ideologies and practices of socialism are perceived to provide a meaningful (alebit increasingly mythical) reference point for understanding people's present condition. Gerald Creed CUNY, Stephan Feuchtwang London School of Economics, Christian Giordano Universitat Fribourg, Robert Hayden University of Pittsburgh, Caroline Humphrey
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