Accepted Paper:

The anthropology of fundamental regime-change: notes on 'postsocialism'  

Author:

Anselma Gallinat (Newcastle University)

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on ethnographies of the region this paper explores the role of three factors in socio-cultural dynamics of fundamental change: a) speed of change, b) questions of ownership and c) the impact of change on notions of the person. It goes on to reflect on the notion of ‘postsocialism’.

Paper long abstract:

This paper argues that the rich ethnographic work conducted in the region during the last twenty-five years, which often seems too invested in the particular to allow any form of generalisation, highlights a number of key factors that influence the socio-cultural dynamics of fundamental change. It focuses specifically on: a) speed of change, b) questions of ownership and c) the impact of change on notions of the person. Drawing on ethnographies published over the last three decades and the author's fieldwork experiences in eastern Germany the paper will explore each of these factors and their interrelation by focusing on moments when change was resisted, embraced or seemingly went unnoticed. It will use these explorations to reflect on the utility of the notion of 'postsocialism' as a category for a specific experience of change and a specific region.

Panel P031
Postsocialism and anthropology: theoretical legacies and European futures