Do It Yourself sir, if You Have no Servant

The review focuses on Tomasz Rakowski’s Hunters, Gatherers, and Practitioners of Powerlessness: An Ethnography of the Degraded in Postsocialist Poland which analyses the practices of managing economic and social crisis occurring during the post-socialist transition in Poland, with a special emphasis put on survival strategies in post-industrial and rural areas. The book casts new light on the everyday reality of the presented communities living in mining towns and deindustrialized villages. While at the first glance the cases discussed in the book might seem to constitute typical examples of social marginalization in East-Central Europe, the monograph presents them instead as the underpinning of an active society (both in social and economic terms), capable of adapting hidden skills and inventing new survival practices.

Released: Replika 110, 83–92.