Chapter

Modeling Socialism and Socialist Cultural Politics

Katherine Verdery

in National Ideology Under Socialism

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 1991 | ISBN: 9780520072169
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520917286 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520072169.003.0003
Modeling Socialism and Socialist Cultural Politics

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This chapter presents a theoretical framework for analyzing “real socialism” as a social order. The nature of socialist systems has a purpose to clarify the environment in which socialism's cultural producers work. On this theme, theories of socialist systems tend toward the inarticulate. They rarely pursue the full implications of their new-class theory or ownership theory or goal-function theory for how meaning is produced and controlled in socialist systems. The literature on cultural production in other social orders is not of much help, because thinkers frame their analyses explicitly in terms of capitalist markets; yet the suppression of the market in socialist systems means that except when reforms reintroduce market mechanisms into its sphere, culture ceases to be a commodity.

Keywords: modeling socialism; socialist cultural politics; goal-function theory; cultural production

Chapter.  10323 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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