Balkan Blues - Consumer Politics after State Socialism
Publisher: Indiana University Press
An exploration of how a state transitions from the collectivized production and distribution of socialism to the consumer-focused culture of capitalism.
In Balkan Blues, Yuson Jung considers the state as an economic agent in upholding rights and responsibilities in the shift to a global market. Taking Bulgaria as her focus, Jung shows how impoverished Bulgarians developed a consumer-oriented society and how the concept of “need’ adapted in surprising ways to accommodate this new culture.
Different legal frameworks arose to ensure the rights of vulnerable or deceived consumers. Consumer advocacy NGOs and government officers scrambled to navigate unfamiliar EU-imposed models for consumer affairs departments. All of these changes involved issues of responsibility, accountability, and civic engagement, which brought Bulgarians new ways of viewing both their identities and their sense of agency. Yet these opportunities also raised questions of inequality, injustice, and social stratification. Jung’s study provides a compelling argument for reconsidering of the role of the state in the construction of twenty-first-century consumer cultures.
“A good contribution to post-socialist and Balkan studies, showing well that the concept of post-socialism can still be useful not only in the context of Central and Eastern Europe, but also in the Balkans. The book is based on long-term, deep ethnography and is well written . . . I recommend it to anyone who wants to try to understand social, political, and economic differences in Europe and everyday practices related to the (imaginaries of the) state.” —Karolina Bielenin-Lenczowska, Ethnologia Polona
Available since: 02/01/2019.
Print length: 203 pages.