Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Pleasures and Perils of Socialist Modernity: New Scholarship on Post-War Eastern Europe

  • MALGORZATA FIDELIS (a1)
Abstract

What role did consumption, the mass media and popular culture play in post-war Eastern Europe? Did they help ‘normalise’ state socialism or rather inspire outlooks and desires incongruent with communist regimes’ goals? These questions are central to recent scholarship which has departed from conventional Cold War studies centred on narrowly-conceived political elites and modes of Soviet domination. Instead, using the lens of social and cultural history, scholars have turned to exploring Eastern European societies as independent subjects in their own right. Looking at workers, middle classes, women, tourists, hippies, shoppers, television audiences and other groups, this new body of work has questioned the impenetrability of the Iron Curtain and has highlighted Eastern European participation in broader European and global trends. Instead of enumerating failures of the socialist system from ‘economics of shortage’ to the depressing ‘greyness’ of apartment blocks, scholars now explore ‘pleasures in socialism’, including leisure, fashion and consumer culture. In place of preponderant societal resistance against the controlling state, they expose complex ways of appropriation, accommodation and identification with elements of state socialism by individuals and groups.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburger , eds., Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012)

Tarik Cyril Amar , The Paradox of Ukrainian Lviv: A Borderland City between Stalinists, Nazis, and Nationalists (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015)

Tarik Cyril Amar , The Paradox of Ukrainian Lviv: A Borderland City between Stalinists, Nazis, and Nationalists (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015)

Emily Greble , Sarajevo 1941–1945: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Hitler's Europe (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2011)

Nathaniel D. Wood , Becoming Metropolitan: Urban Selfhood and the Making of Modern Cracow (DeKalb, IL: Northern Illinois University Press, 2010)

Paulina Bren and Mary Neuburger , eds., Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe (Ithaca: Cornell, 2012)

Mary Neuburger , Balkan Smoke: Tobacco and the Making of Modern Bulgaria (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012)

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Contemporary European History
  • ISSN: 0960-7773
  • EISSN: 1469-2171
  • URL: /core/journals/contemporary-european-history
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 16
Total number of PDF views: 96 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 545 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 19th October 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.