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Travel and Exposure to Western Culture

Travel and Exposure to Western Culture
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Copyright: 2021
Pages: 21
Source title: Impact of Political Socialization on the Support for Democratic Principles: Emerging Research and Opportunities
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Allison Clark Ellis (University of South Carolina Upstate, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4291-0.ch005


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There are various reasons countries sometimes choose to regulate travel both in and out of their borders. During the Communist Era, countries in the Soviet bloc restricted travel mainly to prevent defection, and out of fear that people would realize life might be better outside the iron curtain. This chapter examines the impact travel restrictions had and shows they were largely unsuccessful in preventing exposure to Western ideals and culture. Many examples are given that show that without even having to travel people in Czechoslovakia and Hungary were learning through radio, television, books, and film how life was different in the West. Through personal remembrances, this chapter illustrates the effect of travel constraints and why people view the ability to travel freely as one of the main advantages of communism falling.

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