This book is about state socialism, not as a political system, but as an "ecosystem" of interactions between the state and the citizens it sought to control. It includes case studies that demonstrate how the major ideological principles of socialism translated into motives guiding people's lives.
This unique post-revisionist study focuses on people's lives and experiences rather than political systems. The studies are grouped around three common elementssocialist labor, the new socialist man, and the socialist way of life. Using first-hand accounts, the authors find minute deviations from the norms that eventually lead to renegotiation of the norms themselves. Focusing on routines, not extremes, they present socialism in its "normal" state.
The volume demonstrates different national strategies for dealing with the past in the post-socialist world. Studies of the socialist past may strive to be objective, but their messages tend to be complex. Rather than arriving at one truth about the nature of socialism, this volume explores the many ways people have survived the system.
About the Author
Daniela Koleva is associate professor at the department of history and theory of culture, St. Kliment Ohridski University of Sofia. Her work is widely published in international journals and collective volumes. Additionally, she has written two books in Bulgarian and has edited volumes in Bulgarian and English.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Socialist Normality: Euphemization of Power or Profanation of Power? Daniela Koleva vii
1 "Living and Working Together": Formal and Personal Relations Between Workers of the Polish State-Owned Farms Ewelina Szpak 1
2 "Women Workers" in Hungary: Identities and Everyday Lives (Microhistorical Analysis of Life-Story Interviews) Eszter Zsófia Tóth 23
3 Yesterday's Heroes: Spinning Webs of Memory in a Postsocialist Textile Factory in Slovenia Nina Vodopivec 43
4 Negotiating Spare Time: Magic at Work in the Everyday Life of a Bulgarian Socialist School Nadezhda Galabova 63
5 Contested Normality: Negotiating Masculinity in Narratives of Service in the Yugoslav People's Army Tanja Petrovic 83
6 Experiencing Socialism: Female Singers in Southeastern Serbia Ana Hofman 103
7 Eating Well in Times of Scarcity: Reactions, Perceptions, and Negotiation of Shortages in 1980s' Romania Simina Badica 121
8 Resistance in Consumption: In Search of a Negotiating Agent Valentina Gueorguieva 151
9 Housing as a Norm and as an Everyday Life Strategy in Communist Czechoslovakia (1968-89) Hana Pelikánová 175
10 The Indifferent, the Obedient, and the Adjusted: Three Women's Narratives about Socialism in Croatia Sanja Potkonjak 195
The Authors 219