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Szabo, Veronica (2012) YOUTH AND POLITICS IN COMMUNIST ROMANIA (1980-1989). Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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My research in Romania examines the presence of politics in the everyday lives of youth in the 1980s. While most research on youth’s political opinions focuses on First World democracies, my work examines how political education took place in the tightly controlled, non-democratic context of communist Romania. I tried to understand how Romanian youth experienced politics in their everyday lives in the 1980s, under a “totalitarian-sultanistic” system. I try to answer this question by looking at three levels: the lived and remembered experience of students and their teachers, the “indoctrination” materials such textbooks and policy documents they were exposed to, and the social research from the 1980s aimed at assessing the effectiveness of their “indoctrination”.
My findings show that ideological indoctrination of youth in 1980s Romania existed more as intent (Party policies) than as outcome, thus rendering the “totalitarian” frame as outdated for the analysis of everyday life. The education system and youth organizations that were supposed to do the “indoctrination work” did it an inept and ambivalent fashion, and whatever they accomplished in schools was further deconstructed in autonomous spaces of expression within family and friendship circles. Furthermore, research commissioned by youth organizations and collected in the 1980s clearly shows evidence of their failing and awareness of it among members of the regime.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMarkoff, Johnjm2@pitt.eduJM2
Committee MemberBlee, Kathleenkblee@pitt.eduKBLEE
Committee MemberLivezeanu,
Committee MemberBamyeh,
Date: 2 October 2012
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 30 April 2012
Approval Date: 2 October 2012
Submission Date: 14 June 2012
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 149
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Sociology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: communism, Eastern Europe, political socialization, Romania, everyday life, political sociology
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 20:04
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:58

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