Socialist Nostalgia

Lisa Rofel

in Other Modernities

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 1999 | ISBN: 9780520210783
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520919860 | DOI:
Socialist Nostalgia

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This chapter brings back the liberation stories to reflect on them from another angle, considering them as memory, or “memory-practice.” As nostalgic memory, they raise questions about how people come to reinterpret their history. The discussion draws attention to the stories' nostalgic quality in order to discern how that nostalgia is produced out of, and positions women of the oldest cohort in relation to, post-Mao visions of modernity. As managers and party cadres sought to reinvigorate the silk industry, they invoked a dominant form of nostalgia that imagined how workers in the period before the Cultural Revolution used to be more obedient, more dedicated, and too naive or too afraid to speak out.

Keywords: post-Mao; modernity; nostalgic memory; silk industry; Cultural Revolution; anthropology

Chapter.  8010 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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