A noble title and entree into high society crossword

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A noble title and entree into high society crossword

A noble title and entree into high society crossword Among print genres that soared in popularity after the fall of socialism, crossword puzzles have been prominent, with their monthly sales reported around million copies in Drawing on ethnographic observation, interviews .

with crossword readers, traders and publishers,

as well as on analysis of the puzzles themselves, I argue that the Russian crossword boom is an instructive case of how forms of popular entertainment are borrowed and re-appropriated to serve distinctively local cultural logics.

More specifically, the recent popularity of crossword

puzzles has to be viewed in the context of the sweeping changes in the social structure of the Russian society. In the face of multiple dislocations of , of frustrated expectations and unfulfilled claims, the changed genre of crosswords,

far less high-brow and than its Soviet predecessor,

offered a wide circle of Russians a vocabulary for articulating their claims of cultural competence and, increasingly, of moral worth, and allowed them to imagine themselves as a moral community juxtaposed to the hostility of the surrounding world.

Acknowledgements A noble title and entree into high society crossword

The fieldwork informing this paper was supported by a research grant from Williams College. Earlier versions of the paper were presented at the annual Soyuz convention in Amherst, MA in , at the European Sociological Association Network for the Sociology of the Arts conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in and at the annual convention of the American Sociological

Association in Philadelphia A noble title and entree into high society crossword

PA in, as well as at at the University of Virginia and at Smith College. I am grateful to the participants and discussants at these events, especially to and Jeffrey , for their comments, to Will and Greg for their insights about the US puzzle world, to Christopher, Olga , Julie and an anonymous reviewer for their conceptual and linguistic help, and to Robin Kim ’06 of Williams College for her research assistance on the project.

Notes A noble title and entree into high society crossword

 Scanword (or skanvord, as it is pronounced in Russian) is a variation on crossword puzzle which tends to be somewhat easier to solve than a ‘classical’ crossword.

I thank Leonid Sladkov for sharing the Gallup data with me.

For comparison, The New Yorker reports that 50 million Americans, or about of the population, solve crossword puzzles at least occasionally

I conducted two male and two female focus groups, organizing solvers by age. Income and educational level of participants varied, which corresponds to the Gallup-generated profile of the puzzle.iycos  periodicals’ readership see Note 11 below.

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