The First Full Shelves: Grocery Shopping and Polish Pursuits of Normality After Communism Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Valtin-Erwin, Leah
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Curriculum in Global Studies
  • This thesis uses newspaper coverage to examine shopper interactions with the first Western-style supermarket in Poland after the end of communism, the two BILLA shops in Warsaw. I frame these interactions in terms of three pursuits of everyday normality after communism: the rejection of a communist normality, the pursuit of a normality perceived to exist in the West, and the pursuit of a normality that was responsive to the unique conditions of post-communist transformation itself. In contrast to prevailing narratives of early post-communism, wherein consumers watched as shock therapy reform and Western-style privatization was implemented, I argue that, in these pursuits, consumers attempted to actively negotiate a particular shopper experience as they tried to construct an everyday that suited their priorities. Although the Western supermarket model eventually prevailed, grocery shopping in early post-communism was subject to considerable pushback from shoppers, offering clearer insight into how the post-communist consumer understood their present
Date of publication
Resource type
  • Raleigh, Donald
  • Wampuszyc, Ewa
  • Bryant, Chad
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Graduation year
  • 2018

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