Consumption and Class During and After State Socialism

Here is a link to download my 2007 book chapter Sredl, Katherine (2007) "Consumption and Class During and After State Socialism," in Consumer Culture Theory (2007), ed Russell W. Belk and John F. Sherry, Jr. Research in Consumer Behavior, 11, 187-205, Oxford: Elsevier. I have received a few emails from colleagues who are interested in this chapter, but their libraries do not have the book. I hope that this post helps promote open access to this chapter.

keywords: consumption, consumer culture, Yugoslavia, Croatia, class, state socialism, Balkans, central and Eastern Europe, consumer behavior, advertising.

Yes, Ma'am

Tonight, the waiter said yes, ma'am to me. And in his eyes I knew there was an expression. He didn't always look at me directly, or intently, or timidly. It wasn't arrogance, the arrogance of flirting. I knew that I was very flattered and enjoyed it.

Lynn St Sirup Pancake Potluck

Last Sunday, I attended Lynn St Sirup Pancake Potluck. Yes, the correct spelling is Syrup. The invitation reads Sirup Pancake Potluck. You are correct, I just finished writing a dissertation. I have to reproduce the form rather than the correct spelling. Perhaps the misspelling is telling of something, I don't know. I was really stressed out last Sunday, but I attended anyway, with C, A, and Baby C (BC), my cool neighbors (CN), around 10.30 am.

We sat at the end of a table. Wait, that's out of order. We arrived with our potluck participation: CN: fresh, organic, sliced strawberries, Me: de-frosted mixed berries from the grocery store. We placed the food on the buffet table (as opposed to the seating tables). I noticed on the buffet the coffee on offer, labeled "Fair Trade Organic." Why the "Fair Trade Organic" on the label... Is this something brought to the buffet by people who want to be known as cool in a specific sub-culture? It is generous of them to br…

Punctured Innertube

I had a flat tire on my bike today. I knew I was in for trouble as I biked in to work in the morning, just no time to address the issue. It happened while I was living my life, teaching, meeting the two TAs.

Too proud, my bike, she falls apart in private. Lets all the air out of her back inner-tube.

I'm standing at the bike rack. Now, the rain is more than a mist, and it is a bit cool. My high heels (I anticipated biking rather than walking anywhere) and the cold rain rule out walking the bike to the shop.

I called my friend, C. She is very nice and picked me up with her enormous SUV and drove me to see the lunatic at his bike shop. My plan is to leave the bike with the lunatic, ride home in C's warm and dry SUV, and return for my bike tomorrow, when I will be calm, potentially, and the problem of the flat tire will be in correct proportion.

There is the part of the story that involves C and me lifting my commuter bike in the back of her SUV and it is funny because it took many …

Croatia is...

Croatia is the Brazil of Europe...


Vatroslav Mihacik, a football school professor and former goalkeeper, said: 'Our nickname is the Brazil of Europe because of the style we play. Conditions in Croatia are far worse than in England where you have better facilities, better pitches, experts on nutrition and physiology and so on. But we are creative. Creativity is the deciding factor in growing a good player.'

Jebem ti sve po spisku...

I recommend this article in Central Europe Review:

Fuck this Article: The Yugoslav lexicon of swear words:

The article is hilarious and accurate. I never adjusted to hearing the violent swearing that is part of daily life (i.e. riding the tram) in Zagreb. I did pick up the habit of saying f***, which I had to give up for Lent to break the habit. Anger is fine, but swearing might be too violent an expression. I often miss living somewhere that people are free to have their own thoughts and expressions, including the not-nice ones.