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Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies

Memories of Everyday Life

Editors: Silova, Iveta, Piattoeva, Nelli, Millei, Zsuzsa (Eds.)

  • Builds on first-hand experiences of socialist and post-socialist conditions within schoolsHighlights the range of narratives within research on schools and schooling 
  • Includes an international range of chapters which look beyond the typical debates on socialism
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eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-62791-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-62790-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book explores childhood and schooling in late socialist societies by bringing into dialogue public narratives and personal memories that move beyond imaginaries of Cold War divisions between the East and West. Written by cultural insiders who were brought up and educated on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain - spanning from Central Europe to mainland Asia - the book offers insights into the diverse spaces of socialist childhoods interweaving with broader political, economic, and social life. These evocative memories explore the experiences of children in navigating state expectations to embody “model socialist citizens” and their mixed feelings of attachment, optimism, dullness, and alienation associated with participation in “building” socialist futures. Drawing on the research traditions of autobiography, autoethnography, and collective biography, the authors challenge what is often considered ‘normal’ and ‘natural’ in the historical accounts of socialist childhoods, and engage in (re)writing histories that open space for new knowledges and vast webs of interconnections to emerge. This book will be compelling reading for students and researchers working in education, sociology and history, particularly those within the interdisciplinary fields of childhood and area studies.

‘The authors of this beautiful book are professional academics and intellectuals who grew up in different socialist countries. Exploring “socialist childhoods” in myriad ways, they draw on memories, and collective history, emotional insider knowledge and the measured perspective of an analyst. What emerges is life that was caught between real optimism and dullness, ethical commitments and ideological absurdities, selfless devotion to children and their treatment as a political resource. Such attention to detail and examination of the paradoxical nature of this time makes this collective effort not only timely but remarkably genuine.’

 —Alexei Yurchak, University of California, USA

About the authors

Iveta Silova is Professor at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, USA. Her research focuses on the study of globalization and the intersections of postsocialist, postcolonial, and decolonial perspectives in education. 

Nelli Piattoeva is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Education, University of Tampere, Finland. She is interested in the post-Soviet audit culture and its effects on schools, as well as the production of numerical data on education and the political work done with numbers.

Zsuzsa Millei is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Social Research, University of Tampere, Finland. Her work explores the cultural politics of childhood, childhood and nation, childhood as a political form of being, and children as political actors.

Reviews

“The authors of this beautiful book are professional academics and intellectuals who grew up in different socialist countries. Exploring “socialist childhoods” in a myriad ways they draw on memoirs and memories, personal experience and collectively history, emotional knowledge of an insider and a measured perspective of an analyst. What emerges is life that was caught between real optimism and dullness, ethical commitments and ideological absurdities, selfless devotion to children and their treatment as a political resource. Such attention to detail and paradox makes this collective effort not only timely but also remarkably genuine.” (Alexei Yurchak, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, USA)

“How can the intimate stories of childhood – the memories and experiences of everyday life –  disrupt colonial/modern accounts of history and political change? In this highly original volume, rich and evocative memory stories of (post)socialist childhoods are weaved together to offer profound insights into the possibilities for decolonising childhood. The thoughtfully situated auto-ethnographic and collective biographical accounts presented here brilliantly reveal the cultural-political significance of childhood. In doing so, this volume breaks new methodological and theoretical ground for the fields of childhood studies and comparative education.” (Arathi Sriprakash, Lecturer, Sociology of Education, University of Cambridge, UK)

“Childhood and Schooling in (Post) Socialist Societies offers a thoughtful and diverse series of reflections on memories of living with socialism. The chapters weave vivid accounts of childhood experiences with nuanced theoretical insights. The book provides a key intervention in cross-disciplinary scholarship about childhood memories and their role in understanding societal transitions.” (Peter Kraftl, Professor and Chair in Human Geography, Director of Internationalisation, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK)

“Ranging from Hungary and Russia, to Vietnam and China, Childhood and Schooling in (Post) Socialist Societies paints a complex and productively contradictory picture of the diversity of children’s lived experiences in (post)socialist countries. Through the lens of the researchers’ own memories, children’s active participation in their development and their unique social and political contributions are taken seriously. This is an essential reference point for historians of childhood and memory, of the self, and of (post)socialist ideologies and experience.” (Stephanie Olsen, Department of History, McGill University, Canada)

“Elegantly structured, this collection is unusual in its evocative and analytic power.  The editors have drawn together an accomplished set of researchers who offer remarkable autobiographical insights into socialist childhoods. This is a pathbreaking book that will inspire others to develop new approaches to comparative education research.” (Noah W. Sobe, Professor, Loyola University Chicago, USA and President of Comparative and International Education Society, CIES)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-62791-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-62790-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Childhood and Schooling in (Post)Socialist Societies
Book Subtitle
Memories of Everyday Life
Editors
  • Iveta Silova
  • Nelli Piattoeva
  • Zsuzsa Millei
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-62791-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-62791-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-62790-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 297
Number of Illustrations and Tables
7 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour
Topics