Irina Kaspe 1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

“I Still Exist!”: Late Soviet Cinema Through the Prism of the Relational Sociology of Harrison White (Et Vice Versa)

2017, vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 174–206 [issue contents]
The article is devoted to the popular Soviet cinema of the 1970s and 1980s, and examines the prevalent modes of the representation of social identity and social interaction in the culture of late socialism. The author selected the relational sociology of Harrison White as her theoretical framework. Attention is primarily paid to White‘s concept of identity. He associates identity with the seeking of control, and attaches a crucial meaning to the process of switching between different “netdoms”; in the process; an interiorization of the “social noise” (contradictory, inconsistent, and without corresponding social roles and images of social reality) is inescapable. Based on White’s theory, the author of the article concludes that such a process was extremely hindered in the conditions of a totalitarian society when an attempt of political monopolization of control was undertaken. The Stalin-era official narrative implied the elimination of any “social noises”, that is, any contradictions between the various domains of Soviet life and the adjusted anthropology of Soviet man, who is obliged to be absolutely identical to himself (and to the normative prescriptions) in different contexts. At the same time, the destruction of the horizontal ties and the increasing social atomization had a place in the pre-narrative levels the of social reality, so the mechanism of switching could not have been sufficiently operative as well. The article demonstrates that in post-totalitarian late Soviet cinema which arose after the dissolution of the canons of the Stalinist “Grand Style”, the forms of representation of social domains became substantially more complicated, but the mechanism of switching between them seems to be broken. This was reflected in the fact of the conglutination of different contexts of the social interaction (“formal” and “informal”, for example), the vagueness of the role and interpersonal boundaries peculiarly longing for the “authentic self”, and the regular escaping from the role interaction to the imaginary spaces of dream, reminiscences, etc.
Citation: Kaspe I. (2017) «Ya est'!»: pozdnesovetskoe kino cherez prizmu relyatsionnoy sotsiologii Kharrisona Uayta (et vice versa) [“I Still Exist!”: Late Soviet Cinema Through the Prism of the Relational Sociology of Harrison White (Et Vice Versa)]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 3, pp. 174-206 (in Russian)
The Russian Sociological Review
Office A-205
21/4 Staraya Basmannaya Ulitsa, Building 1
Deputy Editor: Marina Pugacheva
Rambler's Top100 rss