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Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class
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Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class (Hardback)

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What happens when your once-dignified profession no longer supports a dignified lifestyle? In 1990s St. Petersburg, teachers had to find out the hard way. Although the institutions and ideologies of Soviet life situated them as "cultured" consumers, contemporary processes of marketization and privatization left them unable to attain what they now considered to be respectable material standards of living. In this fascinating new ethnographic study, Patico examines the various ways in which teachers have adjusted their activities and interactions as consumers, demonstrating how this has led to dramatic shifts in their assessments of their own lives and of the society around them.

Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class presents a much-needed look at the lives of ordinary people in Russia today, in the process contributing both to postsocialist studies of social change and to broader anthropological theorizations of consumption and value.

Jennifer Patico is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Georgia State University. She was a short-term scholar affiliated with the Kennan Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center in 2001 and 2004.

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