Caviar with Champagne by Jukka Gronow
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Caviar with Champagne
By Jukka Gronow

Caviar with Champagne

Common Luxury and the Ideals of the Good Life in Stalin's Russia

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Format: Paperback

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Caviar with Champagne by Jukka Gronow

Book Description

'Life has become more joyous, comrades.' Josef Stalin, 1936Stalin's Russia is best known for its political repression, forced collectivization and general poverty. Caviar with Champagne presents an altogether different aspect of Stalin's rule that has never been fully analyzed - the creation of a luxury goods society. At the same time as millions were queuing for bread and starving, drastic changes took place in the cultural and economic policy of the country, which had important consequences for the development of Soviet material culture and the promotion of its ideals of consumption.The 1930s witnessed the first serious attempt to create a genuinely Soviet commercial culture that would rival the West. Government ministers took exploratory trips to America to learn about everything from fast food hamburgers to men's suits in Macy's. The government made intricate plans to produce high-quality luxury goods en masse, such as chocolate, caviar, perfume, liquor and assorted novelties. Perhaps the best symbol of this new cultural order was Soviet Champagne, which launched in 1936 with plans to produce millions of bottles by the end of the decade. Drawing on previously neglected archival material, Jukka Gronow examines how such new pleasures were advertised and enjoyed. He interprets Soviet-styled luxury goods as a form of kitsch and examines the ideological underpinnings behind their production.This new attitude toward consumption was accompanied by the promotion of new manners of everyday life. The process was not without serious ideological contradictions. Ironically, a factory worker living in the United States - the largest capitalist society in the world - would have been hard-pressed to afford caviar or champagne for a special occasion in the 1930s, but a Soviet worker theoretically could (assuming supplies were in stock). The Soviet example is unique since the luxury culture had to be created entirely from scratch, and the process was taken extremely serio

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781859736388
ISBN-10: 1859736386
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 11mm)
Pages: 210
Imprint: Berg Publishers
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Books By Author Jukka Gronow

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In this gripping new intellectual biography, Jukka Gronow examines Karl Kautsky s influence on the European labor movement."

Social and Economic Theory of Consumption by Jukka Gronow Social and Economic Theory of Consumption, Hardback (December 2010)

Kaj Ilmonen was a pioneer in the third wave of the sociology of consumption. This book provides a balanced overview of the sociology of consumption, arguing that the enthusiasm of 'the third wave' exaggerated the role of the symbolic and imaginary at the expense of the materiality of human societies.

Sociology of Taste by Jukka Gronow Sociology of Taste, Hardback (January 1997)

The Sociology of Taste looks at the role of taste, or the aesthetic reflection, in society at large and in modern society in particular. It illustrates the role of fashion in the formation of collective taste.

» View all books by Jukka Gronow


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Author Biography - Jukka Gronow

Jukka Gronow is at the Department of Sociology, Uppsala University.

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