Module 10 The Evolving Debate
Sheila Fitzpatrick's Everyday Stalinism has encouraged a trend toward looking at society independently of politics. Everyday Stalinism itself has a number of direct descendants, notably the work of the historians Golfo Alexopoulos and Julie Hessler. Alexopoulos investigates the "social aliens" of Everyday Stalinism, looking at petitions sent to officials to describe how the excluded people changed their self-presentation in order to regain some of their rights. Hessler, on the other hand, investigates the black market and shifts in consumption under Stalinism, again inspired by and informing Fitzpatrick's own work. She also demonstrates that the state was actually, ideologically and at the highest level, opposed to the level of bureaucracy and the shortages it created. Hessler notes the potential in Fitzpatrick's and her own work for comparison to other times and places, looking at how Soviet consumption models grew out of their imitation of German economic planning during World War I.