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28 January 2022

Consumption, Man, and Gender: Historical and Philosophical Analyses (the Example of Early Soviet Society)

V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University Bulletin ‘History of Ukraine. Ukrainian Studies: Historical and Philosophical Sciences
Consumption, Man, and Gender: Historical and Philosophical Analyses (the Example of Early Soviet Society)

The  research  is  directed  on  the  field  of  history  of  consumption’s  expansion,  as  well  as inclined to the understanding of the gender standards and models in consumption. It is based on the theoretical  achievements  of  gender  studies,  philosophy  and  sociology  of  consumption.  Whereas consumption is a process that is closely connected with a gender perspective, it forces to examine the issue of constructing gender through consumption practices. Thus, the authors pay particular attention  to  the  cross-disciplinary  methodological  approach,  which  allows  exploring  the interrelations between gender and consumption. The case study of this article is the construction of feminity and masculinity in the everyday consumer practices in the early Soviet society, which allows  to “find”  the  new  faces  of  Soviet  social  history —  consumers.  The ways  of  construction feminity and masculinity in the everyday practices, the formation of gender models and standards in consumption  have  been  considered  irrespectively  to  the  career  level  or  material  status  of  the research actors. Making historical analogies provides opportunity for a critical understanding of the communist ideological project devoted to the constructing of a «new Soviet man» and «new Soviet consumer». Despite the proclaimed principle of gender equality by the Bolshevik authorities, these  changes  did  not  significantly  transform  the  everyday  consumer  practices,  because  in  the sphere of domestic consumption most of the functions were still performed by women.The study suggests that the construction of gender in early Soviet society occurred under the conditions of using consumption practices as a form of social coercion. In modern society, a consumer becomes a type of person whoindependently determines  the configuration of a sociocultural space. Thus, one of the key differences between early Soviet and modern consumption is the gender identity which is becoming ambivalent nowadays and accompanies the standardization of cultural artefacts and the “dispersal” of gender markers.

Source: Skubiy I.V., Pylypenko S.H. (2019) Consumption, Man, and Gender: Historical and Philosophical Analyses (the Example of Early Soviet Society). V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University Bulletin ‘History of Ukraine. Ukrainian Studies: Historical and Philosophical Sciences. 28: 68-75

Source web-site: https://periodicals.karazin.ua/uahistory/article/view/14576/13701

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