15 July 2016
Cultures of Capitalism and the Post-Communist System Transition in Eastern Europe
This course aims to provide students with knowledge about the cultural impact of the introduction of capitalist economy in Eastern Europe during the post-communist system transition. During the time of the transition denizens of former communist states had to learn how to build their new identities as entrepreneurs and employees of privately own companies rather than state enterprises. They also had to learn how it is to be a consumer in mass consumer society. The political and economic change brought a range of new possibilities of consumption, new lifestyles and leisure. At the same time denizens of post-communist states were free to choose occupations which range from employees of companies run by American managers, private entrepreneurs or bazaar traders. During the course we are going to discuss the process of embracing of the values of consumer capitalism from perspectives of those who took part in the introduction of this new socio-economic order and those whose life experience was deeply influenced by the change. The course will help participants to better understand cultural dimension of the post-communist system transition by learning how people find themselves embedded in new commercial cultures. Over the six weeks of the course we will study several primary sources and relevant secondary academic journal articles and book chapters. Such sources will be supplemented by presentation of visual material such as adverts, newsreels and press photographs from the instructor’s collection.
Patryk Wasiak, Ph.D
Academically driven graduate and advanced undergraduate students
EUR 0: There is no tuition fee. Accommodation is also provided free of charge.