Commodification in an Officially Decommodified Economy: Institutional Contradictions and Everyday Practices in Poland’s Real-Socialism
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Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Kozminski University
Submission date: 2021-10-12
Acceptance date: 2022-01-30
Publication date: 2022-06-21
Polish Sociological Review 2022;218(2):145–168
The processes of commodification and decommodification have been important dimensions through which social, economic, political and also cultural changes can be analysed. They turn out to be particularly useful for studying everyday practices, both overt and hidden. This article—concerning the period of realsocialism in Poland—has two goals: (a) explaining the paradox of commodification phenomena in a formally decommodified socialist economy and (b) exemplifying these practices in a dynamically changing political and economic situation. Such an approach has made it possible to reveal not only the internally inconsistent system of the plan-command-distribution economy, but most of all the rich set of social adaptation practices that enabled it to function during conditions of shortage.