This book addresses class formation and changes in personhood in contemporary Eastern Europe in the context of the spread of a market economy. The authors investigate processes of social closure, marginalization and elite formation, paying particular attention to their cultural expressions and to the legitimizing discourses of nationalist and neoliberal agendas. While individual and collective identities are inextricably linked with the consolidation of global capitalism, external blueprints are everywhere mediated through historically grounded experiences and local social relations. Comprising studies from Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Russia, the volume explores practices, stories, and performances in everyday life worlds. The ethnographies show both individual and collective identities to be emergent projects, constrained by economic processes and state policies but ultimately created by people themselves as they pursue their interests and search for meaning.