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Catherine Baker

3 Transnational formations of race before and during Yugoslav state socialism In domains from the history of popular entertainment to that of ethnicity and migration, ideas of race, as well as ethnicity and religion, have demonstrably formed part of how people from the Yugoslav region have understood their place in Europe and the world. The region's history during, and after, the era of direct European colonialism differed from the USA's, France's or Brazil's; but this did not exclude it from the networks of ‘race in translation’ (Stam and

in Race and the Yugoslav region
Demand-side abundance and its discontents in Hungary during the long 1960s
György Péteri

1 Consumer and consumerism under state socialism: demand-side abundance and its discontents in Hungary during the long 1960s György Péteri1 Can consumption in state-socialist societies constitute a relevant field for the student of social issues related to overflow situations? So skeptical readers may wonder, and I cannot blame them. Of course, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about these societies is shortages rather than excesses, insufficiency rather than plenty, a lack of almost everything rather than abundance. Indeed, shortages and their

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Postsocialist, post-conflict, postcolonial?

This book explains theoretical work in postcolonial and postsocialist studies to offer a novel and distinctive insight into how Yugoslavia is configured by, and through, race. It presents the history of how ideas of racialised difference have been translated globally in Yugoslavia. The book provides a discussion on the critical race scholarship, global historical sociologies of 'race in translation' and south-east European cultural critique to show that the Yugoslav region is deeply embedded in global formations of race. It considers the geopolitical imagination of popular culture; the history of ethnicity; and transnational formations of race before and during state socialism, including the Non-Aligned Movement. The book also considers the post-Yugoslav discourses of security, migration, terrorism and international intervention, including the War on Terror and the refugee crisis. It elaborates how often-neglected aspects of the history of nationhood and migration reveal connections that tie the region into the global history of race. The book also explains the linkage between ethnic exclusivism and territory in the ethnopolitical logic of the Bosnian conflict and in the internationally mediated peace agreements that enshrined it: 'apartheid cartography'. Race and whiteness remained perceptible in post-war Bosnian identity discourses as new, open-ended forms of post-conflict international intervention developed.

Open Access (free)
Catherine Baker

the late twentieth century as an aspirational alternative to the authoritarianism and financial stagnation of late state socialism. The region's imaginations and fantasies of race, sonically and visually undeniable in the everyday ‘cultural archive’, nevertheless reveal shifting rather than stable identifications with race, depending on which aspects of the region's historical experience are mediated through which national and collective identities. Disentangling the relationship between ethnicity, nation and race, and recognising the multiple racial formations

in Race and the Yugoslav region
The Co-op, the Labour Party and Resale Price Maintenance, 1918–1964
David Stewart

-operative association. Kevin Manton identifies the incompatibility of Labour’s state socialism and the Co-op’s voluntarist consumerism as the main source of conflict in the alliance (Manton, 2009: 756). Although Peter Gurney qualifies this perspective by highlighting the withering of ‘the previously widespread belief [within the Co-op], that politics and economics were domains which could and should be separated’, he maintains that ‘conflicting views of the role of the state continued to undermine unity’ (Gurney, 1996: 220, 224). All of these accounts tend to paint the Labour Party

in Labour united and divided from the 1830s to the present
Bogdan Popa

images. 12 Bodies were conceptualized according to the idea that they were the territory of affirmation of a free self that defies a controlling State authority. Masculinity and femininity were devices to reveal the gendered dimensions of repression in State socialism. In a 1971 artwork titled Cultural Revolution , Grigorescu portrayed State attempts to revitalize socialist

in De-centering queer theory
Hayyim Rothman

This chapter considers the life and work of R. Judah Ashlag. Well known for his voluminous commentaries on the Zohar, Ashlag has, until recently, been largely dismissed by the scholarly community. The chapter begins with discussion of recent scholarly efforts to rehabilitate his image. It then proceeds to examine less appreciated elements of Ashlag’s thought. Namely, the libertarian socialism that he defended on religious grounds. Analysis begins with a discussion of Schopenahauer’s influence on Ashlag and the way that the kabbalist addressed Shopenhauerian pessimism by introducing a dichotomy of wills. Not merely a directionless force, will is subject to a dialectic: a divine will to give, a creaturely will to receive. This distinction leads to a moral division between egoism and altruism. Like Schopenhauer, who envisioned a mystical or mythical overcoming of the ego, Ashlag advocates mystical connection to God. Ashlag’s use of the dichotomy between egoism and altruism to critique state socialism and to promote libertarian socialism grounded in religious insight and practice is then addressed. The chapter concludes with a discussion of Ashlag’s understanding of Jewish nationalism and the Jewish mission as informed by his theology.

in No masters but God
Yulia Karpova

Starting from the late 1950s, Soviet applied artists, architects, critics and philosophers engaged in an ardent debate about the borders and relations between easel, decorative and applied art, techniques, and everyday material culture. The chapter demonstrates how this debate paved the way for theorising industrial design under state socialism, while some of its complexities became rapidly outdated with the institutionalisation of the design profession by the government. The concrete form of this institutionalisation was the All-Union Research Institute of Technical Aesthetics, or VNIITE, staffed by different specialists, through whom the state intended to control the totality of things and their influences on consumers. The ‘TE’ of this institution’s acronym, ‘technical aesthetics’, was promoted as an interdisciplinary science defining the ‘laws of artistic activity in the sphere of technology’ (in the words of the VNIITE director Iurii Soloviev) and optimising the production of consumer goods. Through analysing the methodology of VNIITE at the initial stage of its operation, the chapter addresses the contradictions of the Khrushchev-era vision of the perfect order of things.

in Comradely objects
Liberating human agency from liberal legal form
Darrow Schecter

politics. In seeking to establish more democratic and pluralist forms of politics, liberalism’s critics seek to break with the legal epistemology and the correspondingly limited forms of legitimacy that the dichotomies entail in practice. Following the discussion in the previous chapter it is now possible to theoretically examine state socialism and the practice of new social movements as paradigm examples of movements which try

in Beyond hegemony
Open Access (free)
Design and material culture in Soviet Russia, 1960s–80s

The major part of this book project was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 700913.

This book is about two distinct but related professional cultures in late Soviet Russia that were concerned with material objects: industrial design and decorative art. The Russian avant-garde of the 1920s is broadly recognised to have been Russia’s first truly original contribution to world culture. In contrast, Soviet design of the post-war period is often dismissed as hackwork and plagiarism that resulted in a shabby world of commodities. This book identifies the second historical attempt at creating a powerful alternative to capitalist commodities in the Cold War era. It offers a new perspective on the history of Soviet material culture by focusing on the notion of the ‘comradely object’ as an agent of progressive social relations that state-sponsored Soviet design inherited from the avant-garde. It introduces a shared history of domestic objects, handmade as well as machine-made, mass-produced as well as unique, utilitarian as well as challenging the conventional notion of utility. Situated at the intersection of intellectual history, social history and material culture studies, this book elucidates the complexities and contradictions of Soviet design that echoed international tendencies of the late twentieth century. The book is addressed to design historians, art historians, scholars of material culture, historians of Russia and the USSR, as well as museum and gallery curators, artists and designers, and the broader public interested in modern aesthetics, art and design, and/or the legacy of socialist regimes.