Power, ideology and children: Socialist childhoods in Czechoslovakia

Main Article Content

Marek Tesar


There was not one, singular childhood in socialist Czechoslovakia, but many and diverse, plural, childhoods. Spanning over 40 years (1948–1989), the Czechoslovak communist governance produced diverse conceptualisations of childhoods that remain often invisible, unexplored, and the current analyses are at best sketchy and refer mostly to pedagogical nuances of strong ideological pedagogical struggles. One way to explore such an abundance of historical data in a short journal article is to utilise a somewhat personal narrative of a child. This dialogic approach allows the strong presence of the voice of a child, re-told from an adult’s perspective, and it methodologically justifies an approach to thinking and theorising of socialist childhoods through Vaclav Havel’s (1985; 1989; 1990) theoretical thinking that has been utilised in philosophy of education previously (see Tesar, 2015e). There are also other examples of complex and thorough analyses of socialist childhoods in other countries (see for example Aydarova et al, 2016), and theoretical thinking about the socialist child as a foreigner to its own land, can be done through Kristeva’s lens (Arndt, 2015).

Article Details

How to Cite
Tesar, M. (2018). Power, ideology and children: Socialist childhoods in Czechoslovakia. Dialogic Pedagogy: A Journal for Studies of Dialogic Education, 6. https://doi.org/10.5195/dpj.2018.244
Special Issue: Socialist and Post-Socialist Childhood and Schooling
Author Biography

Marek Tesar, University of Auckland

Marek Tesar is a senior lecturer in childhood studies and early childhood education at the University of Auckland. He is Editor-in-Chief of Policy Futures in Education published by SAGE, and is engaged in different editorial capacities with a number of other journals and book series. His focus in on childhood, philosophy of education, policy and methodology.


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