Publication details

‘When the body speaks back’ : Socialization of body-mind dualism in body memories of Cold War childhoods



Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Childhood, Education and Society
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Web Periodikum online
Keywords Cold War memories; Childhood; Collective biography; Mind and body dualism; Embodied mind; Mindful body
Attached files
Description Studies focusing on East Central Europe have generously explored collective memory (lieux de mémoire, monuments, ceremonies) and nostalgia for a past regime, but rarely have they examined memories as carried in child bodies. In this paper, we analyze selected Cold War childhood memories to explore events in which children’s bodies seemingly act out of control. As a part of socialization, children are taught to consciously control their bodies to fit in the societies they have been born to. With learning to control the body, children also learn that bodies are separate from their minds and that their minds can govern and regiment their body. However, bodies also slip up, avert, or simply remain unaffected by these attempts, in a way ‘speaking back’ to regulating forces, thus troubling the modernist assumption of the separation between the mind and body. The aim of the paper is to show the complexities and limits of socialist or any modern(ist) forms of socialization in which the concerted efforts of the mind are mobilized to govern the body. Moreover, the discussion of body memory and the highlighted mechanisms of how socialization efforts create bodily memories adds to our understanding of the effects of pedagogical intentions in education.

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