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Childhood was exceptionally important under state socialism during the Soviet era in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, both as a construction and as the early period of a person’s life, because it was closely linked to the socialist utopian ideal. Socialism can be understood as a modernist utopia, the building of a new society, in which children, as the new generation, were attributed a unique role. Socialism was also a counterculture to capitalism that aimed to create new, morally, and psychologically superior human beings whose consciousness would be reoriented away from materialism and individuality. The focus on the development and socialization of children and the creation of an ideal childhood were therefore vital.

This entry focuses on state socialism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet ...

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