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When formal organisations meet informal relations in Soviet Lithuania : action nets, networks and boundary objects in the construction of the Lithuanian Sea Museum

Rindzeviciute, Egle (2010) When formal organisations meet informal relations in Soviet Lithuania : action nets, networks and boundary objects in the construction of the Lithuanian Sea Museum. Lithuanian Historical Studies, 15, pp. 107-134. ISSN (print) 1392-2343

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Abstract

This study considers organisation in countries under the Soviet regime. The focus is on the creation of the Sea Museum in Klaipėda from the 1960s to the 1980s, a massive undertaking that required huge capital investments, use of rare foreign materials, cooperation between many different sectors (Soviet military, heritage preservation, seaport management, seagoing fishing vessels and zoos in Eastern bloc countries), and many innovations in designing the local sea aquarium system. The whole project was formally illegal: there was an all-union wide restriction on building so-called ‘spectator venues’. This article analyses the roles of formal and informal relations in the construction of the Sea Museum as a project concerning the public good. It suggests that the presence of informality did not undermine formal organising in the overtly centralised Soviet regime. Belonging to formal organisations was an important resource for actors who constructed action nets that went beyond the boundaries of these organisations. Although it is widely known that the successful functioning of formal organisations often depended on informal relations, this point raises complex questions about the identity and uniqueness of the Soviet system.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Sociology
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Psychology, Criminology and Sociology (from November 2012)
Depositing User: Egle Rindzeviciute
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2016 10:34
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2016 10:34
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/32468

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