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Local communities and post-communist transformation: Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Smith, SO 2003, Local communities and post-communist transformation: Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia , BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies , Routledge Courzon, London.

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Abstract

This collection of studies grew out of a workshop held in M❼henice near Prague in April 2001, where early versions of the chapters were presented as papers in an informal and relaxed setting which allowed us to devote considerable time to free discussion of a number of related themes. The workshop was hosted by my friend Jiří Holub, lecturer in political science at Charles University in Prague, who has a summer house in M❼henice and is a member of the local sports club where we held the event. The very setting called for our engagement with the issue of local community responses to social transformation: M❼henice is a village faced with the challenge of maintaining or adapting an identity tied up with patterns of work and leisure and action spaces which had evolved and stabilised during the communist era (though some aspects can be traced further back in time). Its position within the living space of a different type of society is uncertain. In a sense it is undergoing a necessary crisis invoked by the lifestyle changes brought on by marketisation and democratisation: what does the future hold for a recreational 'colony' near Prague? Can it retain and revive an autonomous civic and cultural life? Can it generate visions and projects which will enable it to prosper in the new conditions? What kind of organisational traditions will enable or hinder its adaptation? How have social relations and public discourses altered? Into what wider networks are local actors becoming integrated (or excluded from)? M❼henice, as it were, crystallised many of the questions which interested us as sociologists concerned with the diffusion of structural changes within a society made up of real human actors.Following the workshop I invited each of the participants to re-work their contributions to address two general questions seen as central to local community development and organisational transformation at this stage in the emergence of a post-communist social order:• How have pre-existing sources of social and cultural capital been deployed by actors involved in or affected by social transformation? • Have adaptive responses by social actors to the pressures of social transformation at the micro-level contributed to or blocked the expansion of civic and political participation in the wider social context?

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled Keywords: Civil society, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Czechoslovakia, post-Communism
Themes: Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences
Colleges and Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Publisher: Routledge Courzon
Refereed: Yes
Series Name: BASEES/Routledge Series on Russian and East European Studies
ISBN: 9780415297189
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2009 15:52
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:52
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1077

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