Publication details

Breaking the Rules of the Socialist Village in Czechoslovakia (1948–1980)

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Year of publication 2021
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The deep changes that were sparked by the 1948 Communist coup d’état in Czechoslovakia affected all parts of the country, including the countryside. The rural economy was heavily impacted by the nationalization of small businesses, agricultural collectivization, and the prioritization of industry. The social structure of rural communities was thoroughly transformed as new local elites replaced the old ones. The new changes also affected culture. The Communists introduced new moral norms and declared that society would be officially restructured. Great pressure was put on religious people to secularize. The economy was dominated by the focus on building socialism. All these changes, implemented as part of the program of “socializing the village”, gave birth to new behavioural norms, which in some respects followed in the footsteps of traditional rural morals, but in others radically transformed them. This paper examines how local communities and authorities responded to situations in which the new moral norms were violated. The strict penalties and direct pressure that characterized the period immediately after the 1948 coup eventually gave way to the authorities’ looking the other way, or at the most expressing only verbal criticism. This type of reaction could be described as “situational ignorance”.
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