University of Sussex

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Socialist modern: East German everyday culture and politics

posted on 2023-06-07, 20:04 authored by Katherine Pence, Paul Betts
This book explores the ways in which modernity shaped the relationship between socialist state and society in East Germany. The reunification of Germany in 1989 may have put an end to the experiment in East German communism, but its historical assessment is far from over. Where most of the literature over the past two decades has been driven by the desire to uncover the relationship between power and resistance, complicity and consent, more recent scholarship has tended to concentrate on the everyday history of East German citizens. This volume builds on the latest literature by exploring the development and experience of life in East Germany, with a particular view toward addressing the question: what did modernity mean for East German state and society? As such, the collection moves beyond the conceptual divide between state-level politics and everyday life so as to bring into sharper focus the specific contours of the GDR's unique experiment in Cold War socialism. What unites all the essays is the question of how the very tensions around "socialist modernity" shaped the views, memories and actions of East Germans over four decades. This book will appeal to those interested in German history and anthropology, the Cold War, Eastern Europe, the history of communism, European social history and the history of everyday life, gender history, as well as modernity and socialist popular culture.


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  • Published


University of Michigan Press






Social history, popular culture, and politics in Germany

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  • History Publications


his is an edited book edited by Katherine Pence, Paul Betts

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Katherine Pence, Paul Betts

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