Monday, August 7, 2017

ICV 27 - Speaker 1: Annie Platoff

Little Leninists: flags, symbols, and the political socialization of Soviet Children was the title of Platoff's presentation.  In the United States we have the cub scouts, boy and girl scouts, but during  the Cold War the Soviet Union had parallel organizations like the Little Octoberists and the Young Pioneers.  These often patriotic organizations are just one aspect of 'civil religions' in academia, whereby positive moral values are emphasized and patriotism for the state is encouraged.
Annie Platoff in 'US Civil Religion Outfit' Left - 1978

A curated selection of emblems and symbols for Soviet Era children were shown and discussed.  Platoff also emphasized that she dose not encourage nor promote the political values of the Soviet Union, but rather finds the culture of Russia to be a point of personal and professional interest.  In addition Platoff is nearly fluent in Russian and has extensively traveled across Eurasia.

The theme of the three races was also prominent of Soviet Era multiculturalism: that of the generic Sub-Saharan African, Far East Asian, and White European.  Coincidentally today the theme of the three races can be found in a similar manner in American Media parallel to Soviet Era and modern day times.

Platoff closed that nations should also explore their own 'Civil Religions'.  Essentially a key component of many Civil Religions are youth programs that teach about one's  nation and political history, in addition to giving them task oriented survival skills. 

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