Trust is an essential part of individual lives and the workings of modern society. As sociologist Niklas Luhmann observed, “A complete absence of trust would prevent one from even getting up in the morning.” But what did this most basic of emotions, a requisite for social relationships, look like in Soviet Russia, which could be described as a society of distrust? How did Soviet people act, speak and experience themselves especially in extraordinary situations at the boundary of trust and distrust?
The idea of the panel is to look at research projects through the prism of discourses, practices, different meanings of trust and distrust in Soviet Russia with a special attention to extreme border situations between trust and distrust. Thanks to this analytical prism we will be able to analyze symbolic boundaries between normality and deviance in Soviet Russia: their agents and agencies, discursive and ritualistic construction, shifting and negotiations between different actors and institutions, and in general between the state and society.
Taking the history of trust and distrust as the driving analytical focus, we welcome proposals that refer to any period in Soviet history. These might include, but are not limited to:
-Institutions of trust and distrust: prisons, psychiatric clinics, Gulag
-Borderline phenomena of trust and distrust: suicides, alcoholism, mental illnesses, domestic violence
-Agents of trust and distrust: marginal groups, ethnic, sexual and religious minorities
Please submit a short abstract (max 200 words) for a 20-minute paper, plus a one-page CV, to the organizer, Alexey Tikhomirov (School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL), email@example.com by Friday December 30, 2011.
School of Slavonic and East European Studies
University College London
London WC1E 6BT Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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