Cultures and Communities in the Anthropology of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union

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Abstract

Ethnographies and anthropological analyses of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union published in the last decade have been shaped by two major circumstances. First, they reflect the discursive possibilities opened up by the political upheavals of November 1989 in Eastern Europe and of August 1991 in the Soviet Union; second, they express and represent the theoretical heterogeneity of contemporary American anthropology. We can characterize anthropological work in the former Soviet Union as attempts to use and explore the concept of culture in various sites of social, economic, and political transformation. By contrast, anthropologists studying postsocialist societies in Eastern Europe have turned from analyses of the cultural practices of groups on the margins of modernizing state projects to accounts of how communities are shaped by systemic changes in the political economy of states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-216
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Anthropology
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Ethnography
  • Postsocialism
  • Socialism

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