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Cultures of capitalism and the post-communist system transition in Eastern Europe

Dr. Patryk Wasiak

Freitag 15:00-18:00 Uhr/Samstag 10:00-13:00 Uhr
Block: 10.06.-15.07.2016
Termine: 10.06; 11.06; 17.06; 18.06.; 24.06; 25.06; 08.07; 09.07.2016
Raum: CP 27 (Collegium Polonicum Słubice)
MA-Seminar, 3/6/9 ECTS
ALT: MICS Migration, Ethnicity, Ethnocentrism // KGMOE Menschen – Artefakte – Visionen // MASS Wirtschaft und Kultur // MEK Europäische Wissenskulturen und Künste // MEK Mittel- und Osteuropa als kultureller Raum
NEU: MEK Wissenskulturen – Wissenschaften, Religionen, Künste // MEK Mittel- und Osteuropa als kultureller Raum // KGMOE Menschen – Artefakte – Visionen // MASS Politik und Kultur

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.

Hinweise zur Veranstaltung:
Since readings will be overwhelmingly in English, fluency in English is a requirement. Written work can be in alternative languages. Students must enroll by May 23 at for the first readings!

Source interpretations, book reviews and essays should be made along our seminar plan and can be handed in some time during the semester. Not everybody has to write source interpretations, it depends on the amount of ECTS points you want to gain.