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Accepted Paper:

How Does Socialism Still Affect Establishment of Social Identity in Romanian Childcare System?: Thinking about "Alterity" and "Otherness".  

Author:

Naoki Asada (University of Tsukuba)

Paper short abstract:

This paper aims to analyse the way socialism affects establishment of social identity among Romanian people through investigating public childcare in Romania. Socialism can be considered as "alterity" which includes possibility to be, but not as disconnected "otherness" such as ethnicity.

Paper long abstract:

Romanian orphanages were one of central points to be "found" by western countries after the revolution in 1989 which overthrew and executed a communist dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu, due to sensational broadcasting of miserable images of orphans in Romania. In fact, improvement in child welfare and child rights were a topic mentioned during their participation process to EU. As a result of restructuring and Europeanising its systems, Romanian public childcare system shifted from institutional care to family-type care, and a smaller number of children are in the care system as well as more proportion of children are in family-type care. In terms of education and qualification, social workers, foster carer and adoptive parents are required to fulfil more strict criteria than the past. Especially, social workers are better trained and more aware of their importance and responsibility. Even though there have been some issues to overcome, it can be said that the system and people in childcare has been transformed from socialist past. Nonetheless, past socialism seems to still cast a shadow on them. This paper aims to investigate how socialism is still alive in Romanian public childcare system and to insist the way Romanian childcare system can be examined by postsocialist framework. Socialism likely appears as an "alterity" which is one of elements to establish social identities among Romanians. However, this "alterity" seems to be a possibility that people realistically could be rather than "otherness", such as ethnicity, which is disconnected from them.

Panel B08
Anthropology and Geography in Postsocialism