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Title:Commercial Cultures: Modernity in Russia and the Soviet Union, 1880--1930
Author(s):Hilton, Marjorie Louise
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Diane Koenker
Department / Program:History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, General
Abstract:Modern retail stores in the late Russian Empire and Soviet 1920s served as symbols of modernization and as agents of political, social, and cultural transformation. Modern retailers operated within the larger context of the commercial sphere, which was characterized by experimentation and pluralism. There was no consensus on the value of modern retailing. Rather modern retail stores became in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries multivalent symbols that various members of society used to represent themselves, their agendas, and aspirations. Through the articulation of a commercial culture---the practices, customs, rituals, and discourses surrounding the activities of buying and selling---merchants, consumers, intellectuals, journalists, state and municipal officials, and others made meaning out of the changes and tried to reconcile customary ways with newer ones in order to construct the foundations of a modern, moral society in which material prosperity played a significant role. Modern public life, as exemplified by the retail sector, was neither secular, not apolitical, but was embedded in the symbols of state power, religious practices, and paternalism, even as it operated according to modern business methods, endorsed social mobility and new gender ideals, and promoted an ideal of egalitarian consumption.
Issue Date:2003
Description:376 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2003.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3086081
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2003

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