The Changing Meanings of Russian Love: Emotional Socialism and Therapeutic Culture on the Post-Soviet Screen

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15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on an analysis of post-Soviet Russian cinema and TV productions, this article explores the new emotional culture in post-Soviet Russia and the ways in which it articulates the concept of love. The new emotional style develops through the adoption of popular psychologized therapeutic models and genres of the emotional culture of late capitalism. The article deciphers the encounter of different scenarios of love at the contemporary “therapeutic turn” in Russian culture. I argue that in Russia, the therapeutic script of love meets powerful cultural counterparts, either anchored in the Russian literary tradition, Soviet discursive culture, or constituted in the post-Soviet condition. I use Anna Karenina as a key Russian love scenario, and then refer to contemporary media productions that echo this canonical Russian-Soviet love model and represent its post-Soviet treatments. Some post-Soviet versions differ both from the vantage point of Russian psychological prose and from the global media narrative of therapeutic love. Engaging with the well-established model of “emotional capitalism”, I introduce its contemporary Russian post-Soviet alternative of “emotional socialism” and the moments in which the categories of emotional socialism pose a challenge to the “therapeutic”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-368
Number of pages20
JournalSexuality and Culture
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • Anthropology of media
  • Emotional socialism
  • Love cultural script
  • Post-Soviet condition
  • Therapeutic culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Cultural Studies

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