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Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR

Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR

Authors
Publisher Berghahn Books, Incorporated
Year 01/10/1999
Pages 402
Version hardback
Readership level College/higher education
ISBN 9781571811813
Categories European history, Political structures: totalitarianism & dictatorship
$165.02 (with VAT)
640.82 PLN / €141.55 / £129.54
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Book description

A decade after the collapse of communism, this volume presents a historical reflection on the perplexing nature of the East German dictatorship. In contrast to most political rhetoric, it seeks to establish a middle ground between totalitarianism theory, stressing the repressive features of the SED-regime, and apologetics of the socialist experiment, emphasizing the normality of daily lives. The book transcends the polarization of public debate by stressing the tensions and contradictions within the East German system that combined both aspects by using dictatorial means to achieve its emancipatory aims. By analyzing a range of political, social, cultural, and chronological topics, the contributors sketch a differentiated picture of the GDR which emphasizes both its repressive and its welfare features. The sixteen original essays, especially written for this volume by historians from both east and west Germany, represent the cutting edge of current research and suggest new theoretical perspectives. They explore political, social, and cultural mechanisms of control as well as analyze their limits and discuss the mixture of dynamism and stagnation that was typical of the GDR.

Dictatorship as Experience: Towards a Socio-Cultural History of the GDR

Table of contents

Preface

List of Abbreviations



Introduction: Beyond Uniformity: The Challenge of Historicizing the GDR

Konrad H. Jarausch



PART I: THE THEORETICAL PROBLEM OF DICTATORSHIP



Chapter 1. The GDR: A Special Kind of Modern Dictatorship

Jurgen Kocka



Chapter 2. Modernization and Modernization Blockages in GDR Society

Detlef Pollack



Chapter 3. Care and Coercion: The GDR as Welfare Dictatorship

Konrad H. Jarausch



PART II: MECHANISMS OF POLITICAL REPRESSION



Chapter 4. From Dismantling to Currency Reform: External Origins of the Dictatorship, 1943-1948

Jochen Laufer



Chapter 5. Foreign Influences on the Dictatorial Development of the GDR, 1949-1955

Michael Lemke



Chapter 6. Repression and Tolerance as Methods of Rule in Communist Societies

Mario Kessler and Thomas Klein



PART III: MEANS OF SOCIAL CONTROL



Chapter 7. Creating State Socialist Governance: The Case of the Deutsche Volkspolizei

Thomas Lindenberger



Chapter 8. Food Supply in a Planned Economy: SED Nutrition Policy between Crisis Response and Popular Needs

Burghard Ciesla and Patrice G. Poutrus



Chapter 9. The Myth of Female Emancipation: Contradictions in Women's Lives

Leonore Ansorg and Renate Hurtgen



Chapter 10. The Socialist Glass Ceiling: Limits to Female Careers

Dagmar Langenhan and Sabine Ross



PART IV: CULTURAL DIMENSIONS OF DOMINATION



Chapter 11. Dictatorship as Discourse: Cultural Perspectives on SED Legitimacy

Martin Sabrow



Chapter 12. The Fettered Media: Controlling Public Debate

Simone Barck, Christoph Classen and Thomas Heimann



Chapter 13. Criticism and Censorship: Negotiating Cabaret Performance and Book Production

Sylvia Kloetzer and Siegfried Lokatis



Chapter 14. The Pivotal Cadres: Leadership Styles and Self-Images of GDR-Elites

Arnd Bauerkamper and Jurgen Danyel



PART V: TEMPORAL TRANSFORMATIONS



Chapter 15. Stagnation or Change? Transformations of the Workplace in the GDR

Peter Hubner



Chapter 16. The Hitler Youth Generation in the GDR: Insecurities, Ambitions and Dilemmas

Dorothee Wierling



Chapter 17. Reforming Socialism? The Changing of the Guard from Ulbricht to Honecker during the 1960s

Monika Kaiser



Chapter 18. Mobility and Blockage during the 1970s

Ralph Jessen



PART VI: POSTSCRIPT



Chapter 19. Rethinking the Second German Dictatorship

Christoph Klessmann



Selected Bibliography

Notes on Contributors

Index

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