Is  post-socialism still a useful concept for thinking about either everyday life or political economy?

This essay is to be for anthropology, so I would expect you to have great deal of knowledge in anthropology. Please use at least 2 ethnographies of post-sicialism countries to suppurt your statement.



Essay question: Is  post-socialism still a useful concept for thinking about either everyday life or political

economy?



Description:

WHAT WAS SOCIALISM AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND AND KEY CONCEPTS

This week s lecture has two aims. The first is to provide necessary background to the course,

explaining the geographical areas covered and the historical background necessary in order to

place the Russian Revolution, the Cold War and the Velvet Revolutions of 1989 into context. The

second aim is to introduce students to a number of key theoretical concepts and debates focused

upon by anthropologists, historians and political scientists as they analyse socialist systems,

debates and concepts which will form the focus of future lectures.



**Verdery K 1996 What was socialism and why did it fall? In What was Socialism

and what came next? Princeton: Princeton University Press CRP



**Scott, James  The Revolutionary Party: a Plan and a Diagnosis in Seeing Like a

State: how certain schemes to improve the human condition have

failed 1998 Yale University Press CRP



**Buck-Morss, Susan 2000 Dreamworld and Catastrophe: the Passing of Mass Utopia in

East and West 2000 MIT PressCRP



**Foucault, M. 1988  The Political Technology of Individuals In Technologies of the

Self, L. Martin et. al. eds.



**Verdery K. & M.

Burawoy

1999 Introduction. In Uncertain transition : ethnographies of change

in the postsocialist world Rowman and ittlefield 1999



**Bridger S and F

Pine (eds)

1997 Introduction In Surviving Post-socialism: local strategies and

regional responses in East Europe and the former Soviet Union

Routledge CRP



*Hann C (ed) 1998 Introduction. In Socialism: Ideals, ideologies and practices,

London: Routledge



**Hann C (ed) 2002 Introduction. In Post-socialism: ideals, ideologies and practices

in Eurasia, London: Routledge

Marx, K & F. Engels 1992 The Communist Manifesto

Lenin, V.I. 1992  Class, Society and the State In The State and Revoluti  CRP



Seminar questions: What makes socialism so significant as a social, political and economic

experiment? How does it compare with similar high modernist experiments carried out in the

West, such as Fordism? Is it possible to talk about  either  socialism or post-socialism as single

coherent experiences? What are the key themes of actually existing socialism? What were the

main causes of what Verdery calls the economy of shortage? Why use the term  socialism rather

than communism,  state capitalism or totalitarianism?