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Consuming Russia: Popular Culture, Sex, and Society Since Gorbachevby Adele Marie Barker
Synopses & Reviews
With the collapse of the Soviet empire in the late 1980s, the Russian social landscape has undergone its most dramatic changes since the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, turning the once bland and monolithic state-run marketplace into a virtual maze of specialty shops—from sushi bars to discotheques and tattoo parlors. In Consuming Russia editor Adele Marie Barker presents the first book-length volume to explore the sweeping cultural transformation taking place in the new Russia.
The contributors examine how the people of Russia reconcile prerevolutionary elite culture—as well as the communist legacy—with the influx of popular influences from the West to build a society that no longer relies on a single dominant discourse and embraces the multiplicities of both public and private Russian life. Barker brings together Russian and American scholars from anthropology, history, literature, political science, sociology, and cultural studies. These experts fuse theoretical analysis with ethnographic research to analyze the rise of popular culture, covering topics as varied as post-Soviet rave culture, rock music, children and advertising, pyramid schemes, tattooing, pets, and spectator sports. They consider detective novels, anecdotes, issues of feminism and queer sexuality, nostalgia, the Russian cinema, and graffiti. Discussions of pornography, religious cults, and the deployment of Soviet ideological symbols as post-Soviet kitsch also help to demonstrate how the rebuilding of Russia’s political and economic infrastructure has been influenced by its citizens’ cultural production and consumption.
This volume will appeal to those engaged with post-Soviet studies, to anyone interested in the state of Russian society, and to readers more generally involved with the study of popular culture.
Contributors. Adele Marie Barker, Eliot Borenstein, Svetlana Boym, John Bushnell, Nancy Condee, Robert Edelman, Laurie Essig, Julia P. Friedman, Paul W. Goldschmidt, Judith Deutsch Kornblatt, Anna Krylova, Susan Larsen, Catharine Theimer Nepomnyaschy, Theresa Sabonis-Chafee, Tim Scholl, Adam Weiner, Alexei Yurchak, Elizabeth Kristofovich Zelensky
A timely study of the “new Russia” at the end of the twentieth century.
About the Author
“An invaluable key to reading the cultural salad of today’s Russia, useful to students as well as to their teachers. Barbie dolls, detective fiction, raves and the gay scene, tattoos and graffiti, even an Argentine soap opera that advertises a pyramid scheme: Consuming Russia is great as a classroom text and as a guidebook to the changing face of popular culture.”—James von Geldern, Macalester College
“This volume on post-Soviet Russian culture is noteworthy for its range and critical edge. The authors comment on the impact of Western productions and practices, as well as the reformulation of longstanding Russian traditions. Adele Barker is to be congratulated. From rock and sport to film and popular literature, here is a cook’s tour of the sad, curious, and sometimes marvelous carnival of post-Soviet public expression.”—Jeffrey Brooks, Johns Hopkins University
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History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture