Between socialist homeland and totalitarian dictatorship. The image of the post-World War II period in Ukrainian historical discourse

Między socjalistyczną ojczyzną a totalitarną dyktaturą. Obraz dziejów kraju po II wojnie światowej w ukraińskim dyskursie historycznym

ORCID: Marta Studenna-Skrukwa: 0000-0002-6197-543X

Afiliacja: Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland

ORCID: Marta Studenna-Skrukwa: 0000-0002-6197-543X

Pages: 183-201

Edition: Lublin 2022

DOI: https://doi.org/10.36874/RIESW.2022.1.10

Citation method: M. Studenna-Skrukwa, Between socialist homeland and totalitarian dictatorship. The image of the post-World War II period in Ukrainian historical discourse, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 20(2022), z. 1, s. 183-201, DOI: https://doi.org/10.36874/RIESW.2022.1.10.

Keywords: , , , ,

Abstract: This paper is devoted to the analysis of selected aspects how Ukrainian schools present the historical narrative that covers the post-World War II history of this country – particularly the period of late socialism. My goal was to establish how post-Maidan textbooks presented the times when Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union in its superpower phase. I was especially interested in the current assessment of such phenomena as: post-Stalinist modernization, the movements opposing communist ideology, and the late socialist concept of the Soviet people. The source material was five new textbooks for historical education at high-school level approved for use by the Ukrainian authorities in 2019. The basic research method was discourse analysis: the content of the textbooks were critically evaluated in light of the ongoing political and social situation. Among the theoretical assumptions that were applied in the paper was that the historical narrative has a key importance as a function of the nation-state and as such serves its interests. To conclude the analysis below, it should be emphasized that historical narrative of Ukrainian Schools presents the past of the country in the second half of the 20th century as a general process of gaining independence from the Soviet centre. In the context of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, it should be assumed that the emancipatory nature of the interpretation of Ukraine’s national history is now irreversible.

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