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Workshop: From Stalinism to Coca-Cola: Cultural History in East Central Europe after 1945. An Academic Workshop in Three Parts

Frankfurt (Oder), 26.06, 10.07, 17.07.2014

The workshop challenged the notion of societies under communism as being only oppressive (and depressing), showing that even in authoritarian regimes, ordinary people do have agency, and the relationship with the state is more complex than typically understood. It traced the social life of things during socialism, the ways in which they were incorporated into daily practices and meaning-making activities. Breaking with the assumption that shortage offers the key prism through which to view objects and consumption, we have investigated ways in which cultural objects and phenomenon defined both individual identity and the role ordinary people played in society.