Igor Duda, PhD, Associate Prof.
Croatian Science Foundation / Hrvatska zaklada za znanost (HRZZ)
Juraj Dobrila University of Pula
Centre for Cultural and Historical Research of Socialism (CKPIS)
Making of a “new man” – and woman in the present-day terms – is a concept that has constantly been re-examined and discussed in many political and geographical contexts throughout the twentieth century. The focus of this research project highlights a specific historical situation: the endeavours of Yugoslav authorities in making of a new socialist citizen after the World War II, especially in Croatia as one of the republics forming the Yugoslav Federation. The socialist citizen was first placed in a strongly Soviet-oriented society, but the situation very soon shifted towards a specific kind of Yugoslav self-management and market socialism. The long period of four and a half decades (1945-1990) calls for special attention due to changes in the political system over time: from the formative period of the socialist man to the partial deconstruction of the concept. In many ways Croatia represents an excellent case-study for the research of the Yugoslav society, but in this project it will always be included in the Yugoslav framework and – whenever necessary – in a wider historical context and related comparatively to other socialist societies ruled by communist parties. The academic profile of researchers included in the project guarantees that the new socialist citizen will be closely analyzed in a variety of his or her appearances: from childhood to retirement, in work and leisure or sport, as a creator and a recipient of culture, from the theoretical ideals of high politics to the successful or problematic practices. A wide selection of written, visual and oral sources will be interpreted with a complex multi-disciplinary methodology that includes political, economic, social and cultural history, social and cultural anthropology, cultural studies and linguistics. The aim is to set a new light to the period and topic that are still under-researched by the Croatian and other post-Yugoslav humanities.
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