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Public Lecture on Spaces of Stalin: Hometown effect, historical legacy and the politico-economic landscape

Center for Social Sciences and the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) organized a public lecture on

"Spaces of Stalin: Hometown effect, historical legacy and the politico-economic landscape"

The lecture was delivered by Alexi Gugushvili, University of Oxford; Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS); Center for Social Sciences (CSS)

Date: October 13, 2014, at 5:00 PM
Venue: 3 Chavchavadze Ave., 0179 Tbilisi, Georgia; TSU II Block, 3rd floor, Room #336, Library of the Center for Social Sciences
Attendance: free for all interested
Language: English

This study explores the impact of spatial location - place - on people's attitudes by examining whether support for Stalin is concentrated in his birthplace: Gori, Georgia - or is equally spread in other localities throughout the country. Using a variety of multivariate statistical methods, including propensity score-matching, we examine a recent survey indicating high levels of admiration for Stalin in his home country. We explore three main questions: First, is there a "hometown effect" - do people in Gori love Stalin unconditionally because they came from the same place? Second, is Gori so exceptional from the rest of Georgia? And third, how the historical legacies of Georgian towns and their current politico-economic landscape are related to support for the Soviet dictator.

The presentation is a part of the ongoing research conducted jointly by Dr. Alexi Gugushvili and Dr. Peter Kabachnik, College of Staten Island, The City University of New York (CUNY). The project draws attention to Josef Stalin and the narratives and opinions people have about him. Narratives about the past and opinions about historical figures can reflect the tenor of political stances in the present. One of the central themes explored is how Stalin is remembered in Georgia and how people negotiate representations of Stalin as encountered in daily life. The hard-copies of the first article of the project ("Stalin is dead, long live Stalin? Testing socialization, structural, ideological, nationalist, and gender hypotheses") forthcoming in Post-Soviet Affairs will be freely available during the presentation.

This event was co-sponsored by the American Research Institute of the South Caucasus (ARISC) and the Center for Social Sciences (CSS).