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Post-socialism and notions of context in St Petersburg

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The anthropology of post-socialism has largely been framed around a suspension of judgement of the so-called ‘transition to market capitalism’. In this article I explore this theme as an ethnographic question and ask how social context is marked locally. I argue that while suspending judgements about the nature of context is nearly impossible in a sustained fashion – marriages must be planned, universities attended, etc. – in many ways people have a practical disposition that does in fact resemble the anthropological hesitance to pass judgement. I argue that ways of imagining context have more to do with historically informed practices of personhood and ‘pretence’ than with crisis and chaos.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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