Advertisement

On the Edge of Two Zones: Slovak Socialist Childhoods

  • Ondrej Kaščák
  • Branislav Pupala
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter reconstructs socialist childhoods in Slovakia. It is based on autobiographical memory stories from the authors’ lives and adopts a largely duoethnographic approach. Episodes from these socialist childhoods are narrated against Slovakia’s chiefly Christian and agrarian traditions. In the ‘building communism’ era, these traditions encountered the newly introduced atheism and industrial way of life. The symbolic contrast between the ‘two worlds’ shaped the personal identities of their inhabitants that emerged out of the conflicts generated by these worlds. The analysis shows that the nature and timing of the communist transitional rituals borrowed heavily from their religious counterparts, illustrating the tensions between the two parallel worlds of socialist Slovakia and suggesting that there was no single indoctrinist socialist childhood.

Notes

Acknowledgements

The chapter is the output of research projects VEGA 1/0057/15, VEGA 2/0140/15, KEGA 005TTU-4/2015.

References

  1. Bren, P. (2002). Weekend gateways: The chata, the tramp, and the politics of private life in post-1968 Czechoslovakia. In D. Crowley & S. E. Reid (Eds.), Socialist spaces: Sites of everyday life in the Eastern Bloc (pp. 123–140). Oxford, UK: Berg.Google Scholar
  2. Ellis, C., Adams, T. E., & Bochner, A. P. (2010). Autoethnography: An overview. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum Qualitative Social Research, 12(1). Retrieved from http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095
  3. Ellis, C., & Bochner, A. P. (2000). Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: Researcher as subject. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The handbook of qualitative research (pp. 733–768). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Griffiths, T. G., & Millei, Z. (Eds.). (2013). Logics of socialist education: Engaging with crisis, insecurity and uncertainty. Dordrecht and New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Kopelentova Rehak, J. (2014). Moral childhood: The legacy of socialism and childhood memories in Czechoslovakia. Romanian Journal of Population Studies, 8(2), 89–97.Google Scholar
  6. Kvasničková, A. (2005). Náboženstvo ako kolektívna pamäť. Prípad Slovenska a Čiech [Religion as collective memory: The Czech and Slovak cases]. Bratislava: Univerzita Komenského.Google Scholar
  7. Leung, K., Kim, U., Yamaguchi, S., & Kashima, Y. (1997). Introduction. In K. Leung, U. Kim, S. Yamaguchi, & Y. Kashima (Eds.), Progress in Asian social psychology (Vol. 1, pp. ix–ix). Singapore: John Wiley and sons.Google Scholar
  8. Lutherová, S. G. (2010). Before and after: The phenomenon of Czechoslovakia’s “velvet” revolution in narratives by its “youngest witnesses”. Sociológia, 42(6), 671–690.Google Scholar
  9. Macura, V. (1992). Šťastný věk. Symboly, emblémy a mýty 1948–89 [A happy era: symbols, emblems and myths 1948–1989]. Praha, Czech Republic: Pražská imaginace.Google Scholar
  10. Norris, J., Sawyer, R. D., & Lund, D. (2012). Duoethnography—Dialogic methods for social health and educational research. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press Inc.Google Scholar
  11. Nosal, I. (2002). Czech childhood in the context of socialism and post-socialism: Discourse and representation. Socialni Studia [Social Studies], 8, 53–75.Google Scholar
  12. Ogbu, J. U. (1981). Origin of human competence: A cultural-ecological perspective. Child Development, 52(2), 413–429.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Roubal, P. (2016). Československé spartakiády [Czechoslovak spartakiad]. Praha: Academia.Google Scholar
  14. Sawyer, R. D., & Norris, J. (2013). Duoethnography: Understanding qualitative research. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Silova, I. (2010). Rediscovering post-socialism in comparative education. In I. Silova (Ed.), Post-socialism is not dead: (Re)reading the global in comparative education. International Perspectives on Education and Society (Vol. 14, pp. 1–24). Bingley: Emerald.Google Scholar
  16. Tesar, M. (2014). Grandpa Frost, pioneers and political subjectivities: A historical analysis of childhoods in totalitarian Czechoslovakia through children’s literature. Romanian Journal of Population Studies, 8(2), 75–87.Google Scholar
  17. Turčan, Ľ. (2001). Sociálna otázka v kresťanskej sociológii na Slovensku v prvej polovici 20. storočia (II. časť) [The social question in Christian sociology in Slovakia in the first half of the 20th century (Part 2)]. Sociológia, 33(4), 379–386.Google Scholar
  18. Valo, M., & Slivka, D. (2012). Christian churches in post-communist Slovakia: Current challenges and opportunities. Salem, VA: Centre for Religion and Society.Google Scholar
  19. Walder, D. (2011). Postcolonial nostalgias: Writing, representation, and memory. Oxford: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ondrej Kaščák
    • 1
  • Branislav Pupala
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EducationTrnava UniversityTrnavaSlovak Republic

Personalised recommendations