Towards Being a Good Cuban:Socialist Citizenship Education in a Globalized Context




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Peer reviewed



Considering the renewed diplomatic relations with the United States, and, subsequently, to a globalized world, the Cuban State is forming global citizens while trying to retain socialist values in the face of increased market liberalization. Since the revolutionary period (1960s), Cuban education has stressed the intersecting values of fervent, resistant patriotism; hard work; and active, solidary internationalism, as integral parts of the New Socialist Man/Woman or the “buen revolucionario” (“good revolutionary”). Currently, with new economic, political and cultural apertures, the Cuban government, its school system, and parents are challenged with preserving socialism and its accompanying values while at the same time preparing its young people for work and life in an evolving society and globalized world. Drawing on school textbooks and a wide range of interviews with young Cubans conducted by three education researchers, between 2011 and 2014, this chapter examines Cuban young people’s struggle to reconcile the contradictions and tensions between these ideals and the pragmatic reality of life, implying the need for new forms of national, international and global citizenship. Cuban youth are demanding a larger role in shaping their society if the government wants to keep them on the island. The development of the buen revolucionario is taking on new meaning in the 21st century globalized world.



Cuba, citizenship, buen revolucionario, new man, hombre nuevo, civic education


Blum D., Smith, R., Dawley-Carr, J.R. (2017) Towards Being a Good Cuban:Socialist Citizenship Education in a Globalized Context. In: Choo, S., Sawch, D., Villanueva, A., Vinz, R. (Eds.) Educating for the 21st Century: Perspectives, Policies and Practices from Around the World, Singapore: Springer.


Research Institute

Institute for Research in Criminology, Community, Education and Social Justice