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TOMAS MATZA “Good individualism”? Psychology, ethics, and neoliberalism in postsocialist Russia American Ethnologist 39

Version of Record online: 2 NOV 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1425.2012.01396.x

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Psychologists working in Russia's cities have found it both desirable and profitable to offer “psychological education” to the children of the elite. I examine two characterizations of this work—as a form of neoliberal subjectivation and as a post-Soviet project focused on progressive sociopolitical reform. Exploring the tensions between them illuminates the historical specificity of self-work in Russia, its relation to commerce and biopolitics, and its political ambiguity.

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