Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe

Style and Socialism: Modernity and Material Culture in Post-War Eastern Europe

by Susan E. Reid, David Crowley, S. E. Reid
     
 

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This fascinating book takes as its premise the notion that material culture can help explain the experience of state socialism as lived by ordinary people in Eastern Europe. It provides a revealing window through which to examine the interaction between official state rhetoric and state command on the one hand, and the popular applications of the state's material

Overview

This fascinating book takes as its premise the notion that material culture can help explain the experience of state socialism as lived by ordinary people in Eastern Europe. It provides a revealing window through which to examine the interaction between official state rhetoric and state command on the one hand, and the popular applications of the state's material products on the other. From street fashion to modern art, from the design of state buildings to wallpaper, interconnections between politics and ideology, cultural policy formation and consumption are shown to be a matter of complex negotiation.

The contributors interrogate visual and material culture in Eastern and Central Europe from the consolidation of the Soviet bloc in the late forties to the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. These two decades fall into two contrasting periods: the period of Stalinization, during which Soviet political and cultural authority was established in the satellite states and newly annexed republics, and the period of de-Stalinization, which witnessed economic, cultural and social reform, the expansion of international relations and increased cultural exchange.

Anyone interested in Eastern Europe or in art, design and material culture and their intersection with politics will find this book absorbing and illuminating.

Editorial Reviews

Balkan Academic News

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.
Journal of Contemporary History

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.
Centropa

Style and Socialism provides a fascinating glimpse into . . . complex and often contested social realities through the investigation of a wide range of phenomenon.
Journal of Design History

A pioneering collection of essays about everyday life in post-Stalinist Eastern Europe that will no doubt inspire further discussion and scholarly investigation.
From the Publisher

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859732397
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.48(d)

Meet the Author

Susan E. Reid is a Lecturer in Russian Visual Arts, at the University of Sheffield.

David Crowley is a Tutor in the History of Design, at theRoyal College of Art.

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