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How Not to Prepare Majales: A Meaning-Centred Analysis of Subversive Student Performances in Communist Czechoslovakia

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BINDER Werner ŽELINSKÝ Dominik

Druh Článek v odborném periodiku
Časopis / Zdroj Sociálni studia
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Citace
WWW http://socstudia.fss.muni.cz/sites/default/files/05_How_Not_to_Prepare_Majales__Zelinsky_Binder.pdf
Obor Sociologie, demografie
Klíčová slova Stalinism; carnival; cultural sociology; hermeneutics; 1956
Přiložené soubory
Popis This study offers a sociological analysis of a student carnival in communist Czechoslovakia, the Majales in Bratislava and Prague in May 1956. Utilizing sources such as newspaper articles, photographs and witness accounts, this case study aims to reconstruct the conditions, meanings and consequences of Majales, employing a theoretical framework that highlights processes of communication between centre and periphery. It is argued that the Majales were facilitated by a destabilization of the symbolic centre, triggered by Stalin’s death in March 1953 and Khrushchev’s speech in February 1956. This set the stage for the students, who criticized the centre with subversive performances and playful demonstrations of dissatisfaction. Finally, the initial reception of the performances in the official media and the efforts of the state apparatus to control the meanings of Majales are discussed.
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