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Forms of collectivity in a non-monetary society

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This article examines the paradoxical co-existence of collectivity and passivity among Russian workers, which is linked to the non-monetary character of Soviet society. The article, based on fieldwork carried out in a mining village in Western Siberia, examines three distinct forms of collectivity: the symbolic collectivism of the enterprise as a whole; the collective identification of ordinary workers; and the collectivity of the immediate work group. In each case it is argued that the collective is defined negatively in relation to the outside and is not expressed in any form of collective self-organisation. This can be explained by reference to the structure of the enterprise within a non-monetary society, which fosters both dependence and division among workers.

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