Representations of the Textile Industry

A Socialist Project and a Post-Socialist Transformation

  • Nina Vodopivec
Keywords: Slovenia, textile industry, modernization, socialist economy, working class, post-socialist transformation


The paper focuses on the formation of representations of the textile industry in the socialist and post-socialist periods. These representations were an integral part of a wider industrial image. In this context, the author explores how these representations fitted into the socialist project of modernization and how they were transformed during the so-called transitional period. Representations of the textile industry were at the same time intertwined with gender relations and ideologies and were implicit in discussions about light i.e. female as opposed to heavy i.e. male industry. In the paper, field work analyses, interviews with former and current employees in the Slovene textile industry, daily and monthly newspapers, films, historic demonstrations and economic discourse on the textile industry and its evolution are referred to.By focusing on an individual in everyday life, the author defends the thesis that institutional changes should never be considered without reference to the people they affect. The paper questions the concept of the post-socialist transition and emphasises, in the context of studies on post-socialism, the significance. role and application of the socialist past in the present.