Perspectives of collectivisation: Popular opinion and memory in saxony and lower silesia, 1948-1961
Citation:O'REILLY, KLARA-MAEVE, Perspectives of collectivisation: Popular opinion and memory in saxony and lower silesia, 1948-1961, Trinity College Dublin.School of Lang, Lit. & Cultural Studies.RUSSIAN AND SLAVONIC STUDIES, 2017
Perspec.Coll OReilly FINAL 5.8.17.pdf (completed, revised PhD thesis, final submission) 1.513Mb
The collectivisation of the East German and Polish agriculture in the 1950s and 1960s stands at the centre of this thesis. The diverging experiences of collectivisation in East Germany and Poland are investigated through contemporary party reports and present-day memories. The thesis aims to open new perspectives on the history of collectivisation in both countries by studying two hitherto neglected aspects: the every-day, standardised negotiation of popular opinion on the farms and the present-day memories of the period. Collectivisation in a transnational and comparative framework has so far only been rarely studies. Most work concentrates on the political and economic history of the policy. Contemporary memories of collectivisation also remain understudied while no attempt at placing (the memories of) collectivisation in the post-Communist discourse in central and eastern Europe has been undertaken so far. This PhD thesis fills this gap in the academic literature by combining the analysis of memories of collectivisation with the close reading of contemporary party and mood reports. On the collective farms, the opinions of peasants on socialist agriculture were based on local and economic circumstances which eventually condensed into a mosaic of personal attitudes which were context-bound and diverse. Saxon and Lower Silesian villagers and functionaries were heteroglossic and constantly engaged in the expression of statements whose meanings were similarly pluralist and context-sensitive. The most profound difference between the Saxon and Lower Silesian interviews lies in the relative position afforded to memories of collectivisation. In the Lower Silesian memories, experiences of collective farming do not occupy a prominent position and could be described as already transformed into historical knowledge. By contrast, the Saxon experiences of collectivised agriculture constitute an integral part in the autobiographies of the speakers.
Author: O'REILLY, KLARA-MAEVE
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Lang, Lit. & Cultural Studies. Discipline of Russian
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available