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Style and Socialism : Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe - Susan E. Reid

Style and Socialism

Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe

By: Susan E. Reid (Editor), David Crowley (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 1st August 2000
ISBN: 9781859732342
Number Of Pages: 228

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This book explores the material and visual world of the socialist Bloc from the late 1940s to the late 1960s. The essays, by authors from a range of disciplines, examine the forms and uses of material objects that made up the environment of life behind the 'Iron Curtain', and investigates the particular ways in which these objects came to represent the often divergent aspirations of regimes and peoples in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. The two decades after the end of the Second World War considered here constitute two contrasting periods: that of post-war Stalinism and the 'sovietization' or 'stalinization' of Eastern Europe; and, from the mid-1950s, the period of destalinization and relative cultural liberalization known as the Thaw. During the Thaw, consumerism and a moderate fashion consciousness began to be tolerated or even encouraged to varying degrees in different parts of the Bloc. Style, regarded as a suspect notion under Stalin, became a legitimate and even urgent issue. What forms of dress, home furnishings and housing, as well as of fine art, would provide a stimulating environment that could meet the physical and ideological needs of -- and give shape to -- modern, socialist life? Challenging the assumption that all cultural norms were generated and effectively imposed by Moscow, essays in this anthology investigate the interactions and exchanges between the countries of the Eastern Bloc and and ask how, even in socialist economies, the consumption of material objects -- or the refusal to consume -- could project personal and collective identities and even articulate resistance. Anyone who seeks to understand the effects of state socialism on life in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, or who is interested in the intersection of politics with art, design and material culture will find this book absorbing and illuminating.

Industry Reviews

'Style and Socialism is an enjoyable and valuable addition to East European historiography. It offers glimpses into real ilfe and snippets of intriguing information about subjects' negotiations with the state. The volume is also a timely reminder to all scholars of the period that the traces of material life under socialism are quickly disappearing, as are the people with memories about life during the Thaw.' Balkan Academic News 'The authors in this book find different ways to explore socialist societies through the ways in which goods have been consumed (or not consumed). For them this is a means of considering, how even in socialist economies, personal and collective identities were articulated through consumerism.' Journal of Contemporary History 'Style and Socialism provides a fascinating glimpse into ... complex and often contested social realities through the investigation of a wide range of phenomenon.' Centropa 'A pioneering collection of essays about everyday life in post-Stalinist Eastern Europe that will no doubt inspire further discussion and scholarly investigation.' Journal of Design History

Prefacep. vii
List of Contributorsp. xi
Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europep. 1
Notesp. 18
Warsaw's Shops, Stalinism and the Thawp. 25
Notesp. 44
Stalinism, Working-Class Housing and Individual Autonomy: the Encouragement of Private House Building in Hungary's Mining Areas, 1950-4p. 49
Notesp. 61
Plastics and the New Society: the German Democratic Republic in the 1950s and 1960sp. 65
Notesp. 78
The Aesthetics of Everyday Life in the Khrushchev Thaw in the USSR (1954-64)p. 81
Notesp. 100
The Exhibition Art of Socialist Countries, Moscow 1958-9, and the Contemporary Style of Paintingp. 101
Notesp. 125
Modernism and Socialist Culture: Polish Art in the Late 1950sp. 133
Notesp. 145
Socialist Realism's Self-Reference? Cartoons on Art, C. 1950p. 149
Notesp. 163
Veils, Shalvari, and Matters of Dress: Unravelling the Fabric of Women's Lives in Communist Bulgariap. 169
Notesp. 185
All You Need is Lovebeads: Latvia's Hippies Undress for Successp. 189
Notesp. 205
Indexp. 209
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781859732342
ISBN-10: 1859732348
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 228
Published: 1st August 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.98 x 16.31  x 1.68
Weight (kg): 0.53

Earn 448 Qantas Points
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