The Daily Dacha Soap Opera

Melissa L. Caldwell

in Dacha Idylls

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262843
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947870 | DOI:
The Daily Dacha Soap Opera

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This chapter discusses the recent developments in the dacha lifestyle and provides thoughts on the impact of these changes, not just for Russia's ongoing social transformation, but also for an emerging field of post-postsocialist ethnography. Dacha stories—whether they are about fences, bridges, litter, or uninvited relatives—are far more significant than simple narratives of ruptured friendships. Instead, these stories have consistently provided the grist for powerful commentaries about the nature of Russian life and the issues that have preoccupied Russians, and perhaps their counterparts elsewhere, across several centuries. Dachas and nature determine a host of persistent and unequivocally mundane issues in today's Russia: economics, urbanization, housing, family dynamics, the centrality of political life, and even the reach of the state. The dacha occupies a space that is both intrinsic to and generative of Russians' everyday worlds.

Keywords: dacha lifestyle; Russia; social transformation; fences; bridges; litter; economics; urbanization; family dynamics; political life

Chapter.  5595 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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