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Gesellschaft spielen? Überlegungen zu Kontingenz und Herrschaftspraxis im real existierenden Sozialismus der DDR

Playing Society? Reflecting on Contingency and Practice of Domination in the Real Socialism of the GDR

Prof. Dr. Thomas Lindenberger

In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2021. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 19–36

Was there something special about playing games in a social reality dominated by a communist dictatorship? The essay shows that fundamental antinomies in the ideological arena coexisted with the firm integration of games in the realm of the everyday life. Although »serious« game theory turned out to be incompatible with a Soviet-style planned economy and the philosophy of Marxism-Leninism, playful competition and fantasy-enabling board games could engage the passions of East Germans very well within the limits set by a dictatorial order. Alf Lüdtke’s conception of Eigen-Sinn is discussed with regard to the ways playing games could be part of state socialist domination practice.

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© Bundesstiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur, 2021