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.