In my book «Fashion and Consumption in Contemporary Russia» I explore the transformation in consumption in contemporary Russia during the last twenty years, when the former socialist state survived the so-called «consumer revolution». I focus on fashion and clothing consumption since that has proven to be one of the spheres most sensitive to post-socialist transformations. Consumption is considered as a set of interconnected economic and cultural institutions and practices that create a certain type of consumer subjects. Drawing from the data of original research based on ethnographic observation, in-depth interviews, and discourse analysis, the book explores transformations of retail trade, ideology of fashion and consumption, social structure (including age, gender, class, ethnicity), and also everyday life in two of Russia’s cities — St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk. It also shed light on the consumption and clothing experience of Russian migrants and tourists in the capital of Finland — Helsinki. Taking into consideration post-socialist transformations, the book concludes how fashion and consumption have changed from socialist slow-paced and talks about future developments in this sphere.
Table of contents
Introduction: “We started to dress more better”
Chapter 1. Media and the ideology of consumption and fashion: The case of Krest’ianka
Chapter 2. From shuttle traders to shopping malls: Retail trade transformations and consumer experience
Chapter 3. “We are not rich enough to buy cheap things”: The middle class as a clothing consumer
Chapter 4. “People dress so brightly here!”: Exploring social distinctions through clothing
Chapter 5. “When I put on a fur coat, everyone knows I am Russian”: Clothing consumption of Russian migrants in Finland
Chapter 6. From Russia to Finland: Exploring cross-border shopping
Chapter 7. Fashion and time: The lifespan of clothing
Chapter 8. ”Semiotic baggage” and fashion
Please, take a look at my Academia.edu profile where I uploaded a few chapters from the book.
My PhD research, published as a book titled «Soviet Underwear: Between Ideology and Everyday Life» (New Literary Observer, 2008), is written in the Russian language. The research explored how underwear appeared in an ideology of body (cf. Althusser 1971) vis-à-vis “tactics” (de Certeau 1984), i.e. everyday creative interpretations of ideology as a form of resistance among people in Russia during the Soviet times (1917-1991). I applied the category of “cultural biography of things” (Kopytoff 1986) to conceptualize permanent, everlasting lifespan of the Soviet material objects. This book was noted by some main international journals in my field of the time. For instance, Slavic Review called it an ambitious book devoted to a subject that few have attempted to write about before (Ruan 2010). This study also attracted media attention of the Annals of Improbable research and The Guardian (Abrahams 2006).
Table of contents
Введение: Советское общество в гуманитарных науках (Soviet society in the humanities)
Глава 1. Происхождение советского нижнего белья: слова и вещи (Things and words: The emergence of underwear)
Глава 2. Идеология тела и символическое производство советского человека (Ideology of the body and symbolic production of the Soviet man)
Глава 3. Визуальная политика тела: репрезентации нижнего белья в массовой культуре (Visual politics of the body: Representation of underwear in mass culture)
Глава 4. Нижнее белье в контексте моды и технологии (Unerwear in the context of fashion and technology)
Глава 5. Производство и продажа нижнего белья (Production and selling of underwear)
Глава 6. Самодельные вещи: от коллективного тела к индивидуализации (Hand-made clothing: From collective body to individualization)
Глава 7. Классифицируя нижнее белье. Вещи, повседневное потребление и социальная структура (Classifying underwear. Clothing, everyday consumption and social structure)
Глава 8. Нижнее белье в публичной и приватной сфере (Underwear in public and private sphere)
Глава 9. Память тела. Нижнее белье как источник эмоций и ощущений (Memory of the body. Underwear as a source of emotions)