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An Ideologized and a Realistic Discourse about Rural Latvian Teachers During the Stalinist Period: Analysis of the Content of the Newspaper “Skolotāju Avīze” and the Memoirs of Andrejs Dripe

Vita Zelče
University of Latvia, Latvia

Abstract. This paper examines an ideologically idealised and a realistic discourse about rural Latvian teachers during the late 1940s and early 1950s, as represented, respectively, in the newspaper Skolotāju Avīze (The Teachers’ Newspaper), and in the memoirs of the former teacher and writer Andrejs Dripe. Dripe’s memoirs date back to the 1990s, when diaries written by him after WWII were published. The texts are analyzed with the discourse-historical approach, with the aim and result being the identification of discourse among and about rural teachers. The newspaper Skolotāju Avīze was established to create a discourse about the global excellence of Soviet teacher which, nonetheless, did include positive and negative evaluation. The basis of this judgement was the extent to which teachers did or did not include themselves in the Soviet educational system and in the processes of Sovietisation. Dripe also divided teachers into positive and negative categories in a discursive manner. His point of view, however, emerges from his and his family’s success in living and surviving in the Soviet system. The evidence suggests that discourse about teachers in such publications as Skolotāju Avīze and Dripe’ memoirs cannot be identified or analysed without the contextual foundations of history, in this case the Stalinist period in Latvia.

Keywords: rural teachers, Stalinism, Soviet Latvia, Sovietisation, Soviet press, Soviet education system, discourse-historical approach

Author Note
This research is funded by the Latvian Council of Science, project “Jeopardizing Democracy through Disinformation and Conspiracies: Recon­sidering Experience of Latvia,” project No. lzp-2019/1-0278.

In: Human, Technologies and Quality of Education, 2022. Proceedings of Scientific Papers = Cilvēks, tehnoloģijas un izglītības kvalitāte, 2022. Rakstu krājums
Riga, University of Latvia, 2022. 1135 p. Ed. L. Daniela
ISBN 978-9934-18-911-1