In the middle of the twentieth century, European families found themselves at the centre of radical social and political transformations that affected both the realities of daily life and the way in which family life was discussed in the public arena and regulated by the law. Taking Italy and Poland as its main case studies, this book re-examines the major political and ideological confrontations that crossed postwar Europe from the perspective of ordinary families and of those who sought to regulate the way in which they lived. The main protagonists of this exploration are politicians, scholars, priests and, of course, families themselves. The main competitions discussed took place between Communist Parties and the Catholic Church. While most analyses of Cold War Europe have concentrated on either half of the continent, this book argues that understanding the logic of postwar cultural and ideological competitions requires exploring the commonalities and differences that existed across the iron curtain. Although hardly ever brought together in historical analyses of the postwar era, Italy and Poland provide a rich terrain for such analysis. In both countries, references to family and marriage were used to promote alternative programmes of transformation and to assert alternative visions of the world. In both countries, the overwhelming influence asserted by the Catholic Church over family affairs made the struggle for ideological influence all the more dramatic, rendering family life a crucial terrain for political engagement. Both in Italy and in Poland, the battle fought over the regulation of family and marriage shaped the postwar social, political and cultural landscape.

Marrying and Divorcing in Postwar Europe. Ideological Struggles across the Iron Curtain

Stefania Bernini
2020

Abstract

In the middle of the twentieth century, European families found themselves at the centre of radical social and political transformations that affected both the realities of daily life and the way in which family life was discussed in the public arena and regulated by the law. Taking Italy and Poland as its main case studies, this book re-examines the major political and ideological confrontations that crossed postwar Europe from the perspective of ordinary families and of those who sought to regulate the way in which they lived. The main protagonists of this exploration are politicians, scholars, priests and, of course, families themselves. The main competitions discussed took place between Communist Parties and the Catholic Church. While most analyses of Cold War Europe have concentrated on either half of the continent, this book argues that understanding the logic of postwar cultural and ideological competitions requires exploring the commonalities and differences that existed across the iron curtain. Although hardly ever brought together in historical analyses of the postwar era, Italy and Poland provide a rich terrain for such analysis. In both countries, references to family and marriage were used to promote alternative programmes of transformation and to assert alternative visions of the world. In both countries, the overwhelming influence asserted by the Catholic Church over family affairs made the struggle for ideological influence all the more dramatic, rendering family life a crucial terrain for political engagement. Both in Italy and in Poland, the battle fought over the regulation of family and marriage shaped the postwar social, political and cultural landscape.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3721656
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