Mysterious Cotton Pieces: Childhood Memories of Menstruation

Katarzyna Gawlicz, Zsuzsa Millei

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This chapter explores the memories of menarche of three girls who grew up in socialist countries in the 1980s. We use Kopytoff’s theory of the cultural biography of objects and Rogoff’s theory of guided participation to intimate the girls’ ways of knowing and practising menarche in relation to objects and significant others. Objects carry cultural meanings and, as such, taught girls about practices and feelings associated with menstruation and helped them to navigate their periods. The memories analysed here demonstrate that girls’ everyday experiences in state-socialist and capitalist countries were quite similar and that children on the Eastern side acted as knowing subjects rather than passive victims of ‘indoctrination’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication(An)Archive
Subtitle of host publicationChildhood, Memory, and the Cold War
EditorsMnemo ZIN
PublisherOpen Book Publishers
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-80511-187-0
ISBN (Print)978-1-80511-185-6
Publication statusPublished - 2024
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1


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