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Document Type: Książka
Title: Playing Soldiers in Bohemia: An Ethnography of NATO Membership
Authors: Cervinkova, Hana
Keywords: Soldier; Military Service; Czech Republic; Anthropology
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Set Out
Citation: Prague: Set Out
Abstract: This book is an ethnographic rendering of a phase in the Czech post-socialist modernity when the military, the state and society were reorganizing their relationships according to the rules of a new rationality. Except for Chapter Five, which draws on my earlier research, this book is based on observations and interviews which I completed during my sixteen months of dissertation fieldwork (February 2001 - June 2002) in the military bases and other sites in the Czech Republic. I view my fieldwork as an intense personal and anthropological experience filled with ambiguities and paradoxes that stem from the grotesqueness which accompanied the transformation of power relations and identities in the post-socialist period. My ambition was to communicate some of the unique atmosphere that pervaded the transitional moment with respect to the military - an institution and area of research that have been largely neglected by the scholars of post-socialism. This study is not a critical analysis of the post-socialist military or the civil-military relations in the Czech Republic. I conceptualize the individual ethnographic chapters of this book as free-standing scenes, each of which attempts to address a particular idea that I found dominant in my observations related to the military. But rather than writing the ethnography of the military or its relationship to society, I use the military as an observation point from which I examine the often intangible, but recurrent themes of Czech national identity and post-socialist transformation. I hope that the details of the small stories, which I present here, will address larger cultural and social issues (Geertz 1973: 23) and enable readers to use my work to analyze similar phenomena in other (not only) post-socialist societies.
ISBN: 80-86277-47-X
Appears in Collections:WNP – Publikacje i manuskrypty

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