Power and Society in the German Democratic Republic, 1961-1979

Power and Society in the German Democratic Republic, 1961-1979

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The Berlin Wall, for many people, epitomizes the communist German Democratic Republic, founded in 1949 in the Soviet-occupied zone of post-war Germany; other central features of life in the GDR appear to be under the threat of repression by Soviet tanks and surveillance by the secret security police, the Stasi. But is repression and surveillance really all there is to the GDRs history? How did people come to terms with their situation and make new lives behind the Wall? When the social history of the GDR in the 1960s and 1970s is explored, new patterns become evident. In a period characterised by consumer socialism, international recognition and dtente, a fragile stability emerged. Increased participation in the micro-structures of power, and conformity to the unwritten rules of an increasingly predictable system, suggest accommodation to dominant norms and conceptions. Contributors explore the ways in which lower-level functionaries and people at the grass roots contributed to the formation and transformation of the GDR from industry and agriculture, through popular sport and cultural life, to the passage of generations and varieties of social experience. The volume thus presents a more complex approach to the history of East Germany during its previously under-researched middle decades and sheds new light on the phenomenon of nostalgic memories since unification. And through the framework of the theoretical concept of normalisation, the book situates the history of the GDR within the wider context of post-war western and eastern European history.Training in these companies was poor, wages low, and staff turnover high: 33.1 percent of the repair staff in the VEB ... The government prioritised the establishment of around the clock repair services, and placed great emphasis on anbsp;...

Title:Power and Society in the German Democratic Republic, 1961-1979
Author:Mary Fulbrook
Publisher:Berghahn Books - 2009


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