Economy, emulation, and equality: Sociogenesis in the postsocialist capitalocene: Gudeman Lecture, University of Minnesota, March 21, 2022

Chris Hann


  • Economy and emulation are freighted concepts. They draw attention to universal phenomena, the forms of which vary according to social organization, and in particular the dynamics of (in)equality. Socialist modernization, which is explored here in the context of successive transformations of rural economy in southern Hungary, was characterized by distinctive forms of enchantment and ritualized collective action. These have been lost in the course of postsocialist privatization and marketization. Convergence with capitalist forms of emulation and increasing inequalities are shown to have deleterious ecological as well as social consequences. Theoretical inspiration is drawn from Thorstein Veblen and Stephen Gudeman; these scholars have much in common, including close ties to Minnesota and deep suspicion of mainstream economics.


Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/724887