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date: 17 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Immediately following the Second World War, Eastern European communist parties employed censorship against Western popular culture, such as film and popular music, which they regarded as politically inappropriate. From the late 1950s, most parties increasingly sought to satisfy their citizens’ desires for consumption and entertainment, and they promoted the development of local cultural alternatives. The parties were not uniform in their policies, as a comparison between Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia demonstrates. However, they did seek to appropriate popular culture to advance their political interests, and they similarly faced resistance from some domestic artists who criticized the government. The reluctance of the parties to allow as much freedom of consumption and expression as existed in the West, together with their inability to provide cultural goods that could keep up with Western fashions, points to popular culture as a factor that contributed to the demise of communism in Eastern Europe

Keywords: censorship, communism, consumption, Czechoslovakia, Eastern Europe, entertainment, film, popular culture, popular music, Yugoslavia

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