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Communication, Mobility and Control in the Soviet Union after World War II

  • Larissa Zakharova

Abstract

Letters, postcards or telegrams are expressions of people’s mobility, marking the roads of travelling and migration. They are ‘meta-migratory or para-migratory materials communicated between individuals finding themselves in remote places’ (Hasan-Rokem 2009: 510–11). Mobility intensifies communications at-a-distance, as moving material artefacts or ‘de-materializing’ connections via telephone assure ‘imagined presence’ and reorganize social relationships. As Urry (2007: 157) argues: ‘mobility systems are not to be viewed as bounded and autonomous but in part depend upon how forms of travel presuppose and, on occasions, bring into being modes of communication and new forms of organization at-a-distance’ (Urry 2007: 157). The physical mobility of individuals is accompanied by the movement of a letter or a card in the opposite direction, symbolizing the social or family attachment of individuals to the place they left. Thus, due to physical mobility and modes of communication, social relations are not located in place but constituted through circulating entities (Urry 2007: 46). But what happens when political control intervenes with mobility and the means of communication? According to Castells (2010: 36): ‘Diffusion of information technology, both of machines and of the know-how, could hardly take place in a society where the control of information was critical to the legitimacy of the state, and to the control of the population.’

Keywords

Post Office Central Committee Telephone Line Telephone Network Telephone Conversation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Larissa Zakharova 2014

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  • Larissa Zakharova

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