Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality

Bönker K (2017)
JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY 15(3): 367-394.

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Abstract / Notes
Soviet propaganda painted a picture of an egalitarian, humane and warm socialist society, whereas the disdained stereotype of capitalism suggested social relations that were dominated by materialism, egoism and money. However, the perestroika reforms constituted a profound iconoclasm and brought about a harsh state of social disintegration for many people. In order to trace the contemporary perceptions of these changes, possible threats, crisis scenarios, as well as the opportunities that the perestroika entailed, this article explores the attitudes of former Soviet consumers towards money, and their consumer practices based on 42 oral history interviews. They strongly suggest that the late Soviet society was not characterised by disintegration. From a comparative perspective on Soviet and post-Soviet times, Soviet money practices offered reliability and predictability of living conditions in an environment with less consumer choice than today. Many people perceived the Soviet social, cultural and economic framework as having provided comparatively greater security in everyday life. The new privacy of the 196os and the 197os offered considerable sources for building people's trust in the regime as it became linked to notions of stability, security, and predictability. Therefore, we should consider these subjective dimensions of normality as providing grounds for current nostalgia about the alleged socio-economic stability and political security up until perestroika.
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Bönker K. Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality. JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY. 2017;15(3):367-394.
Bönker, K. (2017). Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality. JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 15(3), 367-394.
Bönker, K. (2017). Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality. JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY 15, 367-394.
Bönker, K., 2017. Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality. JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY, 15(3), p 367-394.
K. Bönker, “Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality”, JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY, vol. 15, 2017, pp. 367-394.
Bönker, K.: Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality. JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY. 15, 367-394 (2017).
Bönker, Kirsten. “Perestroika and the Loss of Certainties: The Post-Soviet Revaluation of Soviet Money Practices and Social Equality”. JOURNAL OF MODERN EUROPEAN HISTORY 15.3 (2017): 367-394.
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