SOCb2505 Sociology of Communism

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2024
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 6 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Mgr. et Mgr. Gábor Oláh, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. et Mgr. Gábor Oláh, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology – Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Ing. Soňa Enenkelová
Supplier department: Department of Sociology – Faculty of Social Studies
Wed 21. 2. 16:00–17:40 U53, Wed 28. 2. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 6. 3. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 13. 3. 16:00–17:40 U53, Wed 20. 3. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 27. 3. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 3. 4. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 10. 4. 16:00–17:40 U53, Wed 17. 4. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 24. 4. 16:00–17:40 U34, Wed 15. 5. 16:00–17:40 U34
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! SOC0103 Sociology of Nationalism
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 25 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 25/25, only registered: 0/25, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/25
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 9 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
This course focuses primarily to the sociological interpretation of everyday life in socialism. The course will be a mix of 1) theoretical approaches to the sociology/anthropology of everyday life (from Georg Simmel, through Walter Benjamin and Erving Goffmann to Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certau) applied to the socialist everyday. Fuirthermore practical case studies highlighting particular topics such as work, living, everyday things, games, art, etc. Also we will be discussing communism as ideology, as movement, and as social reality. We will also focus on free time by playing the socialist version of Monopoly. There are planned two excursions and guest lecturers.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the course students should be able to:
Orient in the theoretical approaches to the sociology of everyday life
Apply cultural anthropological approaches in various fields of post-socialist societies.
Conduct a brief ethnographic research on the observable cultural practices in a post-socialist society.
Identify in the present the consequences of socialist and post-socialist transformation.
  • Topics that we will discuss:
  • Communism as ideology
  • Communism as movement
  • Communism as social reality
  • Sociology of everyday life
  • Political and cultural geography of East-Central Europe
  • What Was Socialism? Historical Development and Economic Conceptualizations
  • Consuption: food, music, movies
  • Identity, representations, politics and opposition
  • Art in communism - excursion to Moravian gallery
  • Nationalism in Communism
  • Criminality and organized crime
  • Memory and ostaliga
  • Entertainment in communism: Sport, music, games ("Gazdálkodj okosan" the socialist version of Monopoly in Hungary)
  • Free time, holydays and festivities - collective excersises and marches, Labor day, etc.
  • Architecture and housing - excursion to Brno Housing estate
    required literature
  • HIGHMORE, Ben. Everyday life and cultural theory : an introduction. 1st pub. London: Routledge, 2002, viii, 200. ISBN 0415223032. info
  • The everyday life reader. Edited by Ben Highmore. 1st pub. London: Routledge, 2002, xvi, 373 s. ISBN 0-415-23025-X. info
    recommended literature
  • SZCZERBIAK, Aleks. Politicising the communist past : the politics of truth revelation in post-communist Poland. First published. London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018, viii, 198. ISBN 9781138824737. info
  • MOLLOY, Peter. The lost world of communism : an oral history of daily life behind the iron curtain. London: BBC Books, 2016, 314 stran. ISBN 9781785940255. info
  • Food & everyday life in the postsocialist world. Edited by Elizabeth C. Dunn - Marion Nestle - Melissa L. Caldwell. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009, xiv, 231. ISBN 9780253221391. info
Teaching methods
We count on reading papers prior to the class that will be discussed in the class.
There will be presentations be the lecturers
and class discussions.
there are also planned two excursions (Moravian Gallery and Brno housing estate)
Assessment methods
Particular activities of students will be evaluated as follows:
30% - reading, discussion papers and
20% - class participation
50 % - academic paper
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025.
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