Local and ‘Wider’ in the Perception of Belonging using the Example of Social Life in the Czech Countryside during Late Socialism



Year of publication 2017
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description This paper is based on the on-going doctoral research dealing with processes that accompanied changes in the Czech countryside during the second half of the 20th century. The research is focused on some aspects that influenced and inspired a transformation of social life and leisure time during the so-called normalisation era in Czechoslovakia (from the Soviet occupation in 1968 to the velvet revolution in 1989). This long-term research has taken place in several locations in south-western Moravia, including a small rural town and a couple of villages. Important sources of information are interviews based on the principles of the oral history method and recordings of whole life stories. This research method was selected due to my interest in the ways in which an individual can influence the social life of a (rural) community. The causes of this influence can be connected for example with migration for study or work, the establishment of new friendships, or integration into new communities. This influence can lead to acquiring new identities and perception of belonging more or less connected with space. Ways in which these new elements could be modified by local specifics or traditions of rural communities are also interesting. Examples of different levels of variable identity and self-determination will be reflected in the context of my research, dealing with topics like (rock) music, sport, or tramping, a specific Czechoslovak phenomenon based on spending leisure time in natural surroundings.

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