Romania's latchkey kids: generational nostalgia and memory politics in post-communist Romania

Codruța A. Pohrib

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared


Childhood nostalgia and generational belonging might seem like fairly unproblematic attachments to one’s past. When they are enmeshed with the memory of an anti-democratic regime, however, they become part of an ethical minefield. This book investigates the post-communist generational discourse of the “Latchkey Kids”, children and teenagers growing up in communist Romania in the 1980s. Actualized in Facebook groups, blogs, literary autobiographies, educational materials and exhibitions, it became a popular phenomenon in Romania beginning with the 2000s. Romania’s Latchkey Kids delves into this wide range of cultural products in order to understand the role of generational nostalgia in the heated debates about the recent communist past and its impact on the memory of communism. Finally, it asks what we actually mean by and with generational belonging and warns against taking nostalgia at face value.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Wesseling, Elisabeth, Supervisor
  • van de Vall, Renee, Supervisor
  • Verbeeck, Georgi, Co-Supervisor
Award date22 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • generation
  • memory
  • post-communism
  • nostalgia

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