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Industry of Retro or Retro-industry

Industry of Retro or Retro-industry This article deals with some puzzling features in/of contemporary Russian collective memory. In terms of methodology, the article is based on (1) the idea of the commodification of collective memory and (2) the strong interconnections between memory and national identity. While analyzing popular, historical, and political narratives such as those concerning national celebrations, historical texts, and political declarations, I argue that the Ukrainian crisis produced a new type of historical consciousness in Russia, which is connected with the conservative populist tendency in Russian politics currently. As an element of the cultural “industry,” collective memory is connected with an asymmetric exchange that appears in the process of mnemonic commodification. The surplus value of collective memory is caused by the fact that it is used in the process of popular mobilization. I conclude that to maintain the regime and to mobilize support, officials aim to rebuild Soviet images and promote an alternative to the Western model, and that they therefore seek to emphasize traditional values and retro-size Russian contemporaneity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Communist and Post-Communist Studies University of California Press

Industry of Retro or Retro-industry

Communist and Post-Communist Studies , Volume 53 (2): 16 – Jun 1, 2020
16 pages

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Publisher
University of California Press
Copyright
© 2020 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Reprints and Permissions web page, https://www.ucpress.edu/journals/reprints-permissions.
ISSN
0967-067X
eISSN
1873-6920
DOI
10.1525/cpcs.2020.53.2.137
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article deals with some puzzling features in/of contemporary Russian collective memory. In terms of methodology, the article is based on (1) the idea of the commodification of collective memory and (2) the strong interconnections between memory and national identity. While analyzing popular, historical, and political narratives such as those concerning national celebrations, historical texts, and political declarations, I argue that the Ukrainian crisis produced a new type of historical consciousness in Russia, which is connected with the conservative populist tendency in Russian politics currently. As an element of the cultural “industry,” collective memory is connected with an asymmetric exchange that appears in the process of mnemonic commodification. The surplus value of collective memory is caused by the fact that it is used in the process of popular mobilization. I conclude that to maintain the regime and to mobilize support, officials aim to rebuild Soviet images and promote an alternative to the Western model, and that they therefore seek to emphasize traditional values and retro-size Russian contemporaneity.

Journal

Communist and Post-Communist StudiesUniversity of California Press

Published: Jun 1, 2020

Keywords: added value of memory; collective memory; contemporary Russia; Ukrainian crisis; management of memory; mnemonic consumption; nostalgia

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