Society for the Social History of Medicine Biennial conference

16. 7. 2024 - 19. 7. 2024
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Papers in this panel focus on socialist experts in medicine, psychology, and pedagogy who strove to understand what the best conditions were for children to develop and learn. We will show how expertise was shaped by and responded to specifically socialist developments, such as high levels of employment of women-mothers, Cold War competitions, or efforts to do away with class distinctions. We aim to highlight the specificities of socialist expertise as well as point out its connectedness with scientific approaches in Europe and beyond. Doing so, we will spotlight instances in which experts resisted the canon, or people resisted expertise they saw as oppressive, or where experts defied the expectations of societies in which they practiced. Kateřina Lišková will present a paper “Eastern attachments. Child development, attachment theory, and transnational knowledge circulation, the 1950s-1960s”, Annina Gagyiova will present a paper "From Subjectivity to Objectivity: Measuring Intelligence of Socialist Children in 1970s Hungary" and José L.A. López Barajas will present a paper “School Maturity and the Quest for Normalcy: Medical and Pedagogical Expertise, State Policies and Parental Resistance in East Germany (1960-1980s)”.