Daria V. Dimke

European University at Saint Petersburg

Articles. Research

Be worthy of the memory of the fallen»: practices of personality building in utopian communities
The European and American cultures of the 20th century used to see the childhood as a quite special «closed» world and the child itself as a special being, who needs to be taken care of in order to avoid the «grown-up world» with all the problems they have to solve. Nevertheless, at the same time there were societies and communities (USSR, Nazi Germany, kibbutzis and communitar’ communities), which adopted a totally different idea of the subject: the child in these communities was interpreted as a partner, children actively participated in the grown-up life in building of new world. The pedagogical strategy was being created which was, contrary to the leading European model, aimed at uniting the «grownup» world and the «children’s» worlds, which was reflected in developingcommon symbols and rituals. All these societies and communities had one common feature— they were created to realize an attempt at utopian projects. This way of life implied peculiar work with cultural memory following the lead of the ideal. To practice the utopian way of life meant to participate in history, to continuously correlate oneself with it. How did this attitude to the past transform the pedagogical strategy? How was it reflected in everyday life of children and adolescents, what practices, rituals and games were produced by it? How were the relations built between generations? This is the set of questions discussed in this article.

Keywords: anthropology of utopia, cultural memory, utopian community, A. Macintyre, practice, K. Mannheim, pedagogical strategy, Soviet utopian project, utopian conception of childhood, generation