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After the Fall of the WallLife Courses in the Transformation of East Germany$
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Martin Diewald, Anne Goedicke, and Karl Ulrich Mayer

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780804752084

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804752084.001.0001

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Community Lost Or Freedom Gained? Changes of Social Networks After 1989

Community Lost Or Freedom Gained? Changes of Social Networks After 1989

Chapter:
(p.191) Chapter Nine Community Lost Or Freedom Gained? Changes of Social Networks After 1989
Source:
After the Fall of the Wall
Author(s):
Martin Diewald, Jörg Lüdicke
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804752084.003.0009

This chapter examines the patterns of social networks before 1989 and after the first periods of transformation in order to assess the impacts of both system change and transformation. The core family especially proved to be a haven of stability in an unstable environment and, moreover, a most reliable buffer against individual strains and losses. In contrast, the formerly close social networks centered on the workplace did not survive. Social relations in a socialist society may have been precious as a resource to obtain scarce goods and services and as attempts to maintain some degree of uncontrolled private sphere. If so, the East German transformation should have led to extraordinary changes in the density and character of such networks.

Keywords:   system change, East German transformation, core family, social networks, socialist society

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