Katherine Verdery

University of Michigan

Gail Kligman, Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Katherine Verdery, Eric R. Wolf Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, will conduct a joint study of how a nation’s concept of property as being either private or public influences people’s sense of identity. They will look at the socialization of property in Romania’s transition to Communism as a case study, using historical data and contemporary interviews to examine the process of collectivization and its implications for interpersonal relationships in communities and families. Their early research indicates that during the build up to collectivization, the government undertook a tremendous campaign to manipulate people’s views of family and neighbors in order to break up local solidarities and smooth the transition to a system of socially owned property.

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