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Within WallsPrivate Life in the German Democratic Republic$
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Paul Betts

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199208845

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199208845.001.0001

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Privacy in an Enclosed State

(p.1) Introduction
Within Walls

Paul Betts

Oxford University Press

The Introduction locates the argument within the wider secondary source literature, and reconsiders East German social politics and everyday life through an examination of East German norms and experiences of private life. It focuses on the very interplay of private and public in East Germany, charting the ways in which the domestic sphere in particular emerged as a unique site for the expression of personal liberty and alternative non-communist identities. In so doing it shows how the changing understanding of the private sphere serves as an illuminating case study for reinterpreting East German state and society more generally.

Keywords:   East Germany, GDR, tyranny, intimacy, private, private sphere, public sphere, domesticity, niche society

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