SOC 248
Altering States: Postsoviet Paradoxes of Identity and Difference Fall 2016
Division II Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Cross-listed GBST 247 / SOC 248 / RUSS 248
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Critics and apologists of Soviet-style socialism alike agree that the Soviet ideology was deeply egalitarian. Putting aside for a moment the very reasonable doubts about how justified this perception actually was, it is still worth asking, how did people who lived in the world in which differences in rank, class, gender or ethnicity were not supposed to matter, make sense of their postsocialist condition, one in which new forms of difference emerged, and old ones assumed greater prominence? And how do these encounters with difference impact current events, such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict or the persistent tensions between East and West Germans? This tutorial will examine new dilemmas through ethnographic studies and documentary films that aim to capture in real time the process of articulating and grappling with newly discovered divides. We will focus especially closely on Russia, but will also read studies on East Germany, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Poland. This course fulfills the EDI requirement by exploring comparatively the ways in which people in different countries made sense of the social, cultural and political heterogeneity of the postsocialist condition.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1037
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: 5-page paper every other week; comments on the partner's paper in alternate weeks
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: Anthropology and Sociology majors
Distributions: Division II Writing Skills Exploring Diversity Initiative
Notes: meets Division 2 requirement if registration is under SOC or GBST; meets Division 1 requirement if registration is under RUSS
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GBST 247 Division II SOC 248 Division II RUSS 248 Division I

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