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SAN10: The Anthropology of Post Socialist Societies

This paper explores the relation between change and continuity in a selection of late-socialist and post-socialist societies, using key case studies in both rural and urban society in a range of contexts including Russia, Eastern Europe, China, Mongolia, Vietnam and India. Although the majority of these regions have abandoned socialism for different political and economic paths, China and Vietnam have marketized while remaining socialist party-states, and the inclusion of India helps broaden our expectations of the post-socialist context.

Themes to be addressed may include: everyday political and economic life during socialism; social memory and the emergence of new ‘memories’ of the socialist period and earlier; processes of privatisation, changing models of property and new definitions of the public and private; transformations in kinship, gender relations and the family; survival strategies and new patterns of consumption and redistribution; nationalism, ethnicity and racism; work and unemployment; cultural transformations and cultural imperialism; film, literature and the new intelligentsia.

In Michaelmas term, a core set of lectures introduces key concepts for the study of socialism and post-socialism. These are followed by two sets of lectures that focus on central issues that have been faced by all post-socialist societies: property regimes, and issues of memory, identity and coming to terms with the socialist past.

In Lent term, the lectures focus more on particular ethnographic regions of the post-socialist world, and the issues they raise. Lectures will cover Russia, Chinese border regions, Eastern Europe and the Vietnam, with India being covered during the start of Easter term.

Further information including a list of lecture courses and background reading can be found in the Paper Guide in the Paper Resources section to the right of this page.

Paper Resources


SAN10 Paper Guide

For lecture reading lists, additional teaching materials, past exam questions and exam reports please see the SAN10 Moodle Course.

Please note teaching staff and students enrolled on SAN10 will automatically be enrolled on the SAN10 Moodle course and you will find a link to the course in the ‘My Home’ section of Moodle.

If you are a member of the University of Cambridge and you wish to view the reading lists, past exam questions and exam reports then you can access the SAN Moodle Course as a guest. For more information on how to access Moodle Courses as a guest please see Moodle Help.