‘What are little boys made of?’

Olga Kucherenko

in Little Soldiers

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199585557
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725043 | DOI:
‘What are little boys made of?’

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter investigates the work of various agents of socialization, namely family, school, youth organizations, the mass media, and celebrities, as they attempted to forge an identity that would correspond with state-defined parameters of collectivity and group membership. The state's insistence on the active involvement of children in economic and political life puts child-combatants' military experience in perspective. By bolstering children's social ‘sense of self’ at the expense of personal identity, by committing them to adult roles, and exploiting adolescent desire for approval and positive self-appraisal, Soviet educators unintentionally motivated many children to participate in the war effort.

Keywords: socialization; social identity; collectivism; mini-adults; peer group; celebrities; school; family; indoctrination; children's culture

Chapter.  11171 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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