Accepted Paper:

Socialism forgotten? Searching for the future's past among young Czechs   

Author:

Haldis Haukanes (University of Bergen)

Paper short abstract:

Building on insights from post-socialist anthropology on private and public memory, and work on shifting temporalities and past-future relations, the paper explores ways that memories of socialist/postwar pasts are manifested (or avoided) in future-oriented life narratives of young Czechs.

Paper long abstract:

Some of the most outstanding contributions from post-socialist anthropology to the discipline have been work on private and public memory, life narratives and remembering/forgetting (of WW II, of socialism and of the dismantling of the socialist regimes…). Building on insights from this research, as well as work on shifting temporalities and past-future relations, I will explore ways that public and/or private memories of the postwar/socialist past are manifested (or avoided) in future-oriented life narratives of young people living in North Bohemia. While recognizing the importance of socialist legacies in society at large, and the continued role that references to the socialist past play in Czech public discourse at both local and national levels, I find that the imprints of these legacies and references on young people's imaginations are scattered and vague. Following from this, I move on to question the usefulness of "post-socialism" as an analytical frame for understanding recent generational change and the diverse life projects that young people in the region are involved in while struggling to manage their future.

Panel P031
Postsocialism and anthropology: theoretical legacies and European futures