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Women’s Roles, Place Attachment and the Socialist Nation in Cutezătorii Magazine. Representations in Comics Featuring Romanian Communist Pioneers

Oana-Ramona ILOVAN*1
* Corresponding author
1 Babeș-Bolyai University, Faculty of Geography, Department of Regional Geography and Territorial Planning, Territorial Identities and Development Research Centre, Cluj-Napoca, ROMANIA
Pages: 69-95

Abstract. Socialism created materially and discursively an ideological context (and then tradition) to control social space and implicitly people’s experiences in society and space. The aim of my research is to identify representations of the women’s roles in communist Romania, as these were constructed by propaganda in comics for communist pioneers and published in Cutezătorii [The Daring Ones] magazine (1967-1989). My research material is made of comics where Romanian communist pioneers appear as characters. I discuss gender representations using discourse analysis and critical visual analysis. I interpret these gender representations in relation with the socialist nation and place meanings, as constructed by the official discourse. My research explores the meanings of place and the attachments created, which rest on the respective meanings. I consider the role of this official discourse about place meanings in constructing students’ place attachments (i.e., readers of the respective magazine). I concluded that the egalitarian ideology of the communist regime did not affect the patriarchal and the engendered inequalities in the Romanian society because the paternalist communist state supported the patriarchal regime. Comics show a patriarchal society despite the communist propaganda about an egalitarian society. In addition, I showed how, in the analysed comics, which were part of the popular culture, nature- and culture-induced place attachment was influenced by a gendered socialisation with space.

K e y w o r d s: gender, communist Romania, communist propaganda, Cutezătorii expeditions, place representations, visual discourse