This article examines how the Soviet grand narrative of the Great Patriotic War (1941–45) was used in the school educational institution in one of the two Donbas “people’s republics” between 2014 and 2021. Using as a case study a Luhansk school with one of the most pro-Russian and pro-occupation administrations, it explores which GPW sub-narratives were present in the school discourse of extracurricular activities, described in the school VKontakte online community. This article employs the elements of discourse analysis to assess visual and verbal texts, published by the school administration, which depict how schoolchildren engage in different Soviet-military contexts, celebrating, commemorating, or learning about GPW-related events. The article concludes that although the school administration incorporated the main Soviet narratives of the Great Patriotic War, present in contemporary Russian education, it also employed two regional GPW sub-narratives, which provide the Luhansk “republican” authorities with the local ideological foundation for militarizing the school youth. The article demonstrates that such militarization of the semiformal school setting is linked with the Russian educational policy and has implications on how pupils of different ages see the social reality and their role in it.
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Research Article| November 27 2023 Early Publication
The Soviet Pillar of Belonging: How Donbas Schools Construct the Reality in Occupation
Communist and Post-Communist Studies 1–23.
Ivan Posylnyi; The Soviet Pillar of Belonging: How Donbas Schools Construct the Reality in Occupation. Communist and Post-Communist Studies 2023; doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/cpcs.2023.2002005
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