Capitalism, Nationalism, and Religious Revival: Transformations of the Ritual Cycle in Postsocialist Moldova

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Jennifer R. Cash


Throughout history, largescale political and economic changes have often correlated with change in the observance of holidays and the ritual cycle, reflecting and enabling the appearance of new ideologies and practices related to work.  This is especially true for the modern period, both from the initial appearance of capitalism and industrialism, and in the twentieth-century efforts of states to engineer and better control economic development.  The Soviet Union and other socialist states, for example, transformed the cycle of annual holidays celebrated by their populations with the intent of spreading political ideology and increasing economic productivity and efficiency.  While there is a small but rich literature about the surprising effects of these policies, there has been no sustained study of post-Soviet or postsocialist transformations in ritual cycles and their connection to changing economic practices and ideologies.  This paper represents a preliminary attempt to analyze the impacts of capitalism, nationalism, and religious revival as influences on transformations in the ritual cycle of postsocialist Moldova.


Keywords:  ritual cycle, ritual change, postsocialism, Moldova, holidays, celebrations

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