Catalogue


An archaeology of socialism /
Victor Buchli.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Berg, c1999.
description
xii, 228 p. : ill., plans ; 24 cm.
ISBN
1859732127 (Cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Berg, c1999.
isbn
1859732127 (Cloth)
catalogue key
2800226
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 209-218) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Victor Buchli, University College London
Reviews
Review Quotes
"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 Socialismis 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
"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'sArchaeology of Knowledge." --Journal of Design History "An Archaeology of Socialismis 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
'Buchli has admirably countered hellip; 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 hellip; 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
'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
'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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Summaries
Main Description
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.
Main Description
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.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. ix
List of Figuresp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Revolution and the Restructuring of the Material Worldp. 23
Soviet Hygiene and the Battle against Dirt and Petit-Bourgeois Consciousnessp. 41
The Narkomfin Communal House and the Material Culture of Socialismp. 63
Stalinism and the Domestication of Marxismp. 77
The Narkomfin Communal House and Marxist Domesticityp. 99
De-Stalinisation and the Reinvigoration of Marxist Understandings of the Material Worldp. 137
The Narkomfin Communal House and the Material Culture of De-Stalinisationp. 159
Conclusionp. 185
Appendixp. 201
Sourcesp. 209
Indexp. 219
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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