'GOLDEN' CUSTOMERS AND 'BRONZE' CITIZENS IN CEE COUNTRIES
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During the Soviet era, the word 'citizen' was strongly connected to the existing state-controlled communist party system. 'Citizenship' symbolized the ideal Soviet citizen with loyalty, duty and self-sacrifice to the existing order. The new word 'customer' appeared together with democratization, freedom and market. Being customer was the realization of both democracy and the capitalist ideology. 'Customership' emerged as a concept distinct from citizenship, and it helped to fill the ideological vacuum in CEE countries. The centrality of consumerism and abandoned citizenship are aspects that might characterize the transformed former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe more than one might expect.
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