Crisis and the Everyday in Postsocialist Moscow by Olga Shevchenko

By Olga Shevchenko

During this ethnography of postsocialist Moscow within the past due Nineteen Nineties, Olga Shevchenko attracts on interviews with a cross-section of Muscovites to explain how humans made experience of the intense uncertainties of way of life, and the hot identities and skills that emerged in accordance with those demanding situations. starting from intake to day-by-day rhetoric, and from city geography to well-being care, this examine illuminates the connection among difficulty and normality and provides a brand new size to the debates approximately postsocialist tradition and politics.

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Both the framework of deterioration and the one of permanence drew support from the very same evidence of economic and psychological privations experienced in the course of the 1990s, yet the permanence perspective cast the past years as an undifferentiated period devoid of internal heterogeneity and development, while the deterioration framework emphasized the dynamic aspect of the decade. This duality could be traced on the level of terms frequently used in discussions of the decade, both in the media and in everyday conversations.

Vek XX i Mir). My aim here is not only to identify the primary “carrier groups” of the crisis rhetoric, but also to trace the subtle shifts that occurred to the meaning of the term “crisis” as it grew in popularity. This chapter discusses the significance of the term for the public’s perception of postsocialist change, both in terms of the interpretations that it empowered and the selective blindnesses inevitably associated with it. Finally, it addresses the ways in which the shifting meaning of “crisis” fed into the two seemingly contradictory interpretations of the decade which I discussed above.

As Natalia Ivanova put it on the pages of the thick monthly journal Znamia, the decline of thick journals, which started as early as 1991,28 signified not only the agony of the intelligentsia as a social group, but “the agony of society,” for “without the brain, without the head, a body cannot exist, while it can exist without an arm and a leg, even if on crutches; and the death of a brain leads to immediate lethal outcome for the entire body . —will come to think better of it,” although the article stopped short of proposing any specific solutions to the problem (1993b, 173).

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