University of Tampere
Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR) in cooperation with the New Social Research Programme (NSR)
Speakers Series 2017-2018, Spring
Dr. Zsuzsa Millei, IASR
Towards Decolonizing Childhood and Knowledge Production in and about Post / Socialist Societies
It is almost 30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and people of different generations still wrestle with the legacy of (post)socialism. At the same time, researchers invest renewed efforts and apply novel frames for the exploration of historical and contemporary experiences and processes within the region. Our project contributes to these efforts by delving into the lived experiences of children in socialist and post-socialist societies. The socialist modernization project had a preoccupation with childhood in which metaphorical children appeared as the icons of the socialist revolution’s present and future, and in which children were educated and trained to embody a new social order. Nevertheless, living in socialist societies often meant something quite different compared to its official and academic interpretations on both sides of the Iron Curtain. To research past lived experiences of children requires an epistemological, ontological, and methodological rethinking. I discuss these considerations that enables the decolonization of childhood and knowledge production about children’s lives in this era and region. I finish with selected evocative memories that paint a different picture of 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. I conclude with the utility of alternative histories that contribute to better understand the present and future of post-socialist societies. To learn more about the project look here.
What is the Speakers Series of the University of Tampere?
- The Speakers Series is a series of Studia Generalia Lectures in the Study of Society organized weekly by the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR) in cooperation with the New Social Research Programme (NSR). The lectures are given by the Research Fellows as well as the distinguished guests of the IASR and the NSR. For the programme, please check the IASR website www.uta.fi/iasr/lectures/.
For more information, please contact:
Research Secretary Marjukka Virkajärvi, 050 318 6697, Marjukka.Virkajarvi@uta.fi