Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe

By Paulina Bren; Mary Neuburger | Go to book overview

3
“Knife in the Water”
The Struggle over Collective Consumption in
Urbanizing Poland

Kacper Pobłocki

Two commonplace assumptions about consumption in the Eastern Bloc remain largely uncontested in our understanding of the processes that took place in the postwar period. The first is that, fueled by a general dearth of consumer goods, individual consumption dominated consumption patterns in the region. The second is that socialist societies remained largely underurbanized since resources and state priorities favored industrialization.1 Yet many socialist states did experience a success of sorts by rapidly turning societies that for centuries had remained deeply rural into urbanized ones. Moving beyond these assumptions thereby allows us to see what took place far more consistently: urbanization and its concomitant organization of collective consumption. Urban collective consumption might not always have been of the “glittering” variety, but it lies at the very heart of an emergent postwar Eastern Europe.

It was as true of the East as it was of the West: in response to the underconsumption of the 1930s, postwar cities turned increasingly Keynesian. This meant, as David Harvey has argued, that their “social, economic and political life [was now] organized around the theme of state-backed, debt-financed consumption.” The result of this was a radical shift in group identities and alliances. No longer were class alliances the principle organizing feature of urban politics. Instead, identities coalesced around “themes of consumption, distribution, and the production and control of space.”2 Indeed, the urban crises of the 1960s can be seen as marking this shift toward a “new form of the class struggle.”3

-68-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Communism Unwrapped: Consumption in Cold War Eastern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 413

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.