The subject matter of the volume is part of larger research agenda on the process of land collectivization in the former communist camp, focusing on state, identity and property. The main innovation of the volume is to apply recent interdisciplinary approaches to the study of the collectivization process, asking what types of new peasant-state relations it formed and how it transformed notions of self, persons, and things (such as land). The project conceived of changes in the system of ownership as causing changes in the identity and attitude of people; similarly, it regarded the study of personal identities as essential for understanding changes in the system of ownership. This perspective is rare in the area-studies approaches to the topic.
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