Controversial memories in the life stories of the Soviet generation


The Soviet era has affected several generations of Latvians and reflections on this time are integral to the memories of individuals. The memories left behind by the generation who lived through the Soviet occupation and subsequent terror mark an important dividing line between life then and now. These memories also differ significantly from those of the younger generation, who did not become acquainted with the Soviet regime until the post-Stalinist years. This study aims to analyse the life stories of individuals whose birth, education and work occurred in the post-Stalinist period. In their memories, the Soviet period serves as an essential yet unnamed aspect of their life course. In this generation’s life stories, references to repression by the Soviet regime, collectivisation and the like take the form of memories inherited from their parents which have been amplified by prevailing social metanarratives. At the same time, there is a tendency to include and normalise this period in biographies. In this paper, I analyse how the life stories of this generation aim to link their experiences with metanarratives and normalise them..

Nov 12, 2020 — Nov 13, 2020
Rīga (Latvija)
Kaspars Zellis
vadošais pētnieks

Vēsturnieks, Latvijas Universitātes Filozofijas un socioloģijas institūta vadošais pētnieks