Soviet Influence On American Youth Culture

1923 Words 8 Pages
that time an illegal organisation, had been propagating an insurrection of previously subjugated knowledges via the distribution of unofficial posters, leaflets, and most interestingly, postage stamps. Prisoners, who carved imprints out of leather and smuggled them to the outside, produced some of these stamps. The stamps constructed and represented a different history of Poland and located Solidarity within that history, in opposition, as Evans put it, “to the official histories produced by the Communist Party, which had claimed the exclusive right to compose history.”

As foreign objects and foreign account of history were imported by means elucidated elsewhere, Richmond found that over a thirty-year period, more than 50,000 Soviet citizens
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For example, an editorial in Pravda published evidence for what they called ‘juvenile delinquency’, which was allegedly causing cultural instability in the US: “The USA has the greatest incidence of juvenile delinquency in the world.” However, as state officials and police in the Eastern Bloc could not control young people, who at times would brazenly walk about wearing banned garments, these tactics inevitably backfired.

Significantly, Philips notes that the influence that US youth culture had over Soviet youth culture reveals a change in the ‘us/them’ binary. Perhaps one of the more critical errors of the Soviet Union was its persistence in orientalising the USA and the Western World as the undesirable and reviled ‘other.’ This otherness metanarrative increasingly faltered as the issue of juvenile delinquency and rebellion was linked to both cultures. This was a new and changing mode of knowledge production in which US media culture was undercutting the Soviet propaganda
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What went on in the background of that incident is still relatively obscure; it would certainly be interesting to put the question to then president, Jimmy Carter, as to whether his office were in contact with Levi Strauss & Co, or whether the company acted on its own initiative. More importantly the action configures an imaginary by permitting three intimations. First, Levi Strauss & Co is denoting the primacy of US identity over its initial economic function by spurning a brand new market in the Soviet Union. Secondly, Levi Strauss & Co is reprimanding the Soviet Union for its bad behaviour, the move constituting a quite pointed attack given that the Western press had already reported headlines such as “Kremlin Bows to Capitalist Craze,” which was ignominious in any case. Thirdly, there is some sort of metonymic equivalency in the phrasing: it is as though Levi Strauss & Co is a fact of the USA in the same way that the US government is a fact of the White House. Levi Strauss & Co is operating in the same political space as US and Soviet diplomacy and by denying the USSR its product, helped to maintain the us/them binary that the Kremlin was at the

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