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Makeshift modernity: DIY, craft and the virtuous homemaker in new Soviet housing of the 1960s

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journal contribution
posted on 04.11.2015, 12:29 authored by Susan Reid
In cities across the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and early 1960s, new housing developments of plain five-storey apartment blocks mushroomed thanks to an intensive programme for mass industrialised housing construction launched by the Party-State in 1957. Modern living conditions were to be created for millions, it was promised, through state planning and investment in the modernisation of construction, making maximum use of technology and factory prefabrication in place of bricklaying and other artisanal methods. Drawing on oral history and material culture, this article attends to some contradictory, seemingly unplanned and un-modern aspects of popular agency entailed in producing the modern Soviet environment, including the role of local improvisation, DIY and manual craft. These were not necessarily resistant to or subversive of the socialist state’s modernisation project but had a more complex and ambivalent relation to it, as complementary or compensatory accommodations that “tuned” universal models to local contingency.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity

Volume

2

Issue

2

Pages

87 - 124 (37)

Citation

REID, S.E., 2014. Makeshift modernity: DIY, craft and the virtuous homemaker in new Soviet housing of the 1960s. International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity, 2 (2), pp.87-124.

Publisher

Utrecht University Library, Open Access Journals (Uopen Journals)

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

Publication date

2014

Notes

This paper was published as Open Access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/

ISSN

2214-9910

eISSN

2213-0624

Language

en