An Archaeology of Socialism (Materializing Culture)

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9781859732120: An Archaeology of Socialism (Materializing Culture)
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This highly original case study, which adopts a material culture perspective, is unprecedented in social and cultural histories of the Soviet period and provides a unique window on social relations. The author demonstrates how Moisei Ginzburg's Constructivist masterpiece, the Narkomfin Communal House, employed classic Marxist understandings of material culture in an effort to overturn capitalist and patriarchal social structures. Through the edifying effects of architectural forms, Ginzburg attempted to induce socialist and feminist-inspired social and gender relations. The author shows how, for the inhabitants, these principles manifested themselves, from taste to hygiene to gender roles, and how individuals variously appropriated architectural space and material culture to cope with the conditions of daily life, from the utopianism of the First Five Year Plan and Stalin's purges to the collapse of the Soviet Union.This book makes a major contribution to: the history of socialism in the Soviet Union and, more generally, Eastern Europe; material culture studies; architectural history; archaeology and social anthropology.

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About the Author:

Victor Buchli Lecturer,Department of Anthropology, University College London

Review:

“Buchli has admirably countered ... considerable difficulties in a multi-faceted investigative process which could be characterized as an 'archaeology of socialism', in a sense reminiscent of Foucault's Archaeology of Knowledge.” ―Journal of Design History

An Archaeology of Socialism is a fascinating and well written book based on the intellectually charming premise that theories of the function of material culture were heavily tested and found wanting by the Russian socialist byt (life-style) reform programs of the last 80 years ... The value of the book lies in the clarity of Buchli's prose as he navigates the choppy seas of postmodern philosophy. In some cases, his explications of theory are more elegant than the writings of the original authors.” ―American Ethnologist

“There is much of interest here, particularly in the analysis of the Stalin period.” ―Slavonica

“While Buchli has much to say about wallpaper, the types and uses of furniture available to inhabitants, and other seemingly minute 'artefacts' of Soviet life, he is really after a much bigger game. His monograph charts the distinct ways in which individuals and families endeavoured to alter and adapt their living spaces, and how these interventions related to the changing nature of official ideology. As such, he has much to say about that fundamental issue of freedom and the private sphere, as it relates to material culture.” ―Journal of Contemporary History

“[The book] deserves to be read.Buchli has a good eye for all the manifest ironies, discontinuities and just plain ambiguities of material culture, and his (deservedly) sceptical attitude to much of what passes in social anthropology and archaeology for 'material culture' is quite refreshing.” ―The Australian Journal of Anthropology

“A much-needed microcosmic study of Soviet socialism.” ―SEER

“A major contribution to a general understanding of how people relate to their material culture.” ―Cambridge Archaeological Journal

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. This highly original case study, which adopts a material culture perspective, is unprecedented in social and cultural histories of the Soviet period and provides a unique window on social relations. The author demonstrates how Moisei Ginzburg s Constructivist masterpiece, the Narkomfin Communal House, employed classic Marxist understandings of material culture in an effort to overturn capitalist and patriarchal social structures. Through the edifying effects of architectural forms, Ginzburg attempted to induce socialist and feminist-inspired social and gender relations. The author shows how, for the inhabitants, these principles manifested themselves, from taste to hygiene to gender roles, and how individuals variously appropriated architectural space and material culture to cope with the conditions of daily life, from the utopianism of the First Five Year Plan and Stalin s purges to the collapse of the Soviet Union.This book makes a major contribution to: the history of socialism in the Soviet Union and, more generally, Eastern Europe; material culture studies; architectural history; archaeology and social anthropology. Seller Inventory # APC9781859732120

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. This highly original case study, which adopts a material culture perspective, is unprecedented in social and cultural histories of the Soviet period and provides a unique window on social relations. The author demonstrates how Moisei Ginzburg s Constructivist masterpiece, the Narkomfin Communal House, employed classic Marxist understandings of material culture in an effort to overturn capitalist and patriarchal social structures. Through the edifying effects of architectural forms, Ginzburg attempted to induce socialist and feminist-inspired social and gender relations. The author shows how, for the inhabitants, these principles manifested themselves, from taste to hygiene to gender roles, and how individuals variously appropriated architectural space and material culture to cope with the conditions of daily life, from the utopianism of the First Five Year Plan and Stalin s purges to the collapse of the Soviet Union.This book makes a major contribution to: the history of socialism in the Soviet Union and, more generally, Eastern Europe; material culture studies; architectural history; archaeology and social anthropology. Seller Inventory # BZE9781859732120

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United Kingdom, 1999. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.This highly original case study, which adopts a material culture perspective, is unprecedented in social and cultural histories of the Soviet period and provides a unique window on social relations. The author demonstrates how Moisei Ginzburg s Constructivist masterpiece, the Narkomfin Communal House, employed classic Marxist understandings of material culture in an effort to overturn capitalist and patriarchal social structures. Through the edifying effects of architectural forms, Ginzburg attempted to induce socialist and feminist-inspired social and gender relations. The author shows how, for the inhabitants, these principles manifested themselves, from taste to hygiene to gender roles, and how individuals variously appropriated architectural space and material culture to cope with the conditions of daily life, from the utopianism of the First Five Year Plan and Stalin s purges to the collapse of the Soviet Union.This book makes a major contribution to: the history of socialism in the Soviet Union and, more generally, Eastern Europe; material culture studies; architectural history; archaeology and social anthropology. Seller Inventory # APC9781859732120

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