Internal Migration

Jeffrey Kaplan's picture

I'm starting to put together material for a new article and was hoping that some of you might be able to help. I was thinking back to Eastern Europe in the 1970s, recalling what might be called internal migration. It was the habit of small groups of tightly bonded friends to retreat in their free time into different kinds of fantasy worlds as a way of coping with the stresses of life under communism. In Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia that I was most familiar with it was quite a marked pattern. It might be a book, a movie, something from history or folk culture, perhaps something from music--especially western rock or blues--or it could be more distant fantasies from folklore or science fiction. It could also be a simple withdrawal into a world that bonded the group with sex, drink or even drugs, hard as they could be to obtain (corrupt doctors or pharmacists were favorites if i recall). 

Do any of you know of any literature or scholars who might have written on anything like this in English? There are some books coming out of Russia that cover similar themes, but to my knowledge not quite the same. Mainly discussions within family units, clandestine listening to foreign radio broadcasts or the like. But these fall well short of withdrawal into an alternative world. 

Many thanks, 
Dr. Jeffrey Kaplan
King Fahd Defense College
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia