In this book, the political positions and social situations of four social groups have been analysed to highlight two main characteristics of the socialist society in the GDR: communication and compromise. Without forgetting the political restriction and repression that were a defining part of this society, this book observes the stability of the regime until it dissolved quickly from 1987 onwards. In this context, structures, attitudes, relationships and tensions within the East German society are examined and used to analyse wider political and social tendencies.Main issues within this context are the inability of the centralised state to control an increasingly complex society, the continued social divisions based on privileges, and the lines of communication that maintained the exchange between state and society and thereby stability. Furthermore, the role of mass organizations and institutions are analysed to define the political system more clearly; not only its limitations but also to highlight the opportunities the centralised structures provided for the population.

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