Soviet Union ideologies in a post WWII era.

In post World War II Soviet society, the Party’s power seized the reigns on cultural movements including arts and sciences. Through his prior connections with Stalin, Zhdanov ascended to power in an autocratic, post war environment, where he would constrict ideological parameters. Zhdanov’s imposition in the scientific sphere ultimately led to the repression of Soviet genetics research, which remained postponed until the 1960’s. This was because Stalin and other Party officials saw Lysenkoism, a farming method in which the seed is conditioned with cold water in order to maximize production, as more important than genetics research, despite the method’s lack of evidence.… Read the rest here

Influencing Culture

“The Proletarian Tourist in the 1930s: Between Mass Excursion and Mass Escape” by Diane P. Koenker and “Comparing Apples and Oranges: Housewives and the Politics of Consumption in Interwar Germany” by Nancy Reagin both focus on the politicization of different aspects of daily life and leisure. Koenker’s article illustrates the way in which the Soviet government propagated tourism as a means to turn this leisure activity into a political action and elevate the proletariat culturally. Similarly, Reagin’s article highlights how the various housewife organizations in Interwar Germany politicized daily activities, like grocery shopping, and changed how German culture was perceived and remembered.… Read the rest here

National Identity: the Role of Eugenics and Culture

Leora Auslander’s “’National Taste?’ Citizenship Law, State Form, and Everyday Aesthetics in Modern France and Germany, 1920-1940” described the way in which the French and German nations had dealt with the issue of identity and citizenship, specifically in terms of the Jewish populations. This text illustrated the similarities between Parisian and Berliner Jews and the larger French and German populations. These groups were marginalized in various and different ways in each country, but, through analyzing personal belongs and furnishings, Auslander discovered a cultural cohesion throughout the groups.… Read the rest here

Cultural Sustainability

My favorite definition of sustainability that I found was from the Free Dictionary.  Sustainability was defined as “to keep in existence, maintain.”  This definition was my favorite because it was the most inclusive one I could find.  Many other definitions spoke specifically about the environment.  While sustainability is most commonly used in reference to the environment and a “green” lifestyle, it can also be used in an economic or cultural sense as well.  I will be focusing on the cultural definition of sustainability.… Read the rest here

Kibbutzim Illustrating the Limits of Authority’s Power on Culture

I would like to examine where culture comes from. Plato argues that they come from education and government-organized social conditioning, and More seems to say that they come from leadership; it was, after all, Utopus that set the tone for a culture of acceptance and tolerance of different beliefs in Utopia. Marx, by contrast, argues that the economy is the root of all culture; every element of our culture and society is really a tool for and product of bourgeois power.… Read the rest here