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date: 24 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The collapse of the communist regimes in the former Soviet bloc and the subsequent economic, political, social, and cultural transformations opened up new challenges for social science research. Working with the methodological and conceptual tools of Pierre Bourdieu, including habitus, field, capital, symbolic power, hysteresis, and the logic of honor, among others, scholars have defined and addressed four clusters of important research questions: the possibility of systemic change and the emergence of “capitalism without capitalists”; mechanisms for legitimacy and stability, new configurations of stratification and lifestyles; marketing selves, the informal economy, and nationalism; and state-level strategies for redefining positions in the international political field. This chapter shows that, although much remains to be done across these areas, works that use Bourdieu’s insights to analyze post-communist regimes have provided more nuanced accounts and fuller explanations than those available in mainstream literatures, making up in salience what they lack in number.

Keywords: Bourdieu, social science, post-communism, communism, economy, stratification

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