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Life ExposedBiological Citizens after Chernobyl$
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Adriana Petryna

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151663

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151663.001.0001

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Chernobyl in Historical Light

Chernobyl in Historical Light

(p.63) Chapter 3 Chernobyl in Historical Light
Life Exposed

Adriana Petryna

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores some of the prehistory of reception of the Chernobyl disaster in various aspects of Soviet-era life from the perspective of individuals and families living outside state-designated zones. The discussion focuses on events in a time when bureaucratic lines between sufferers and nonsufferers were just beginning to be drawn, and when other informal structures of accountability regarding state-related abuses were in place. From the perspective of one family, the chapter shows how individuals reached the limits of their ability to reason, narrate, and project futures in the context of an invisible nuclear hazard. It explains how life narratives and family histories reflected a vexed and complex history of Ukraine, but also how these histories informed interpretations of the Chernobyl experience.

Keywords:   nuclear hazard, Chernobyl disaster, families, Chernobyl sufferers, nonsufferers, accountability, nuclear hazard, life narratives, family histories, Ukraine

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