CREES Noon Lecture. “Collectivization and the Restratification of Everyday Life in Romania, 1949-1962.”
In largely agrarian countries like the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, and Romania, the collectivization of agriculture was the first mass action through which the new communist regime initiated its radical program of social, political, cultural, and economic transformation. Collectivization in Romania affected twelve million of the country’s sixteen million inhabitants. This talk presents a snapshot of various effects of collectivization on everyday life, exploring the transformation of social organization and hierarchies of social relations that resulted from this process. Especially significant were changes in gender roles and generational expectations. The bureaucratization of work transformed daily practice, along with the personhood ideals associated with it. And the Party’s institutionalization brought the political center directly into village life, thereby shaping the politicization of the rural world.
Gail Kligman is professor of sociology and director of the Center for European and Eurasian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and previously taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, and Georgetown University. Her expertise spans the domains of women's studies, anthropology, and cultural studies. She has received a number of distinguished grants to support her research, and her books have received some of the highest accolades in their respective fields. This talk is drawn from her most recent publication, Peasants Under Siege: The Collectivization of Romanian Agriculture, 1949-1962 (co-authored with Katherine Verdery). The book has received the following recognitions: 2012 Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) Barbara Jelavich and Davis Center Book Prizes, as well as Honorable Mention for the Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize; 2012 Association for Women in Slavic Studies (AWSS) Heldt Prize; and 2012 American Sociological Association (ASA) Honorable Mentions in Political Sociology Section Best Book and Barrington Moore Best Book in Comparative-Historical Sociology.