Introduction: Shaping the “New Man” in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Practices between Hope and Anxiety (1940s–1960s)
This special issue investigates the social practices of shaping the “New Man” between the 1940s and 1960s, through five case studies from South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Objecting to somewhat Eurocentric periodizations in common use, it argues for the persistence of the concept after World War II, and beyond the fascist and Soviet models. The context of late colonial and early post-colonial developmentalism and nation-building also transcends historiographic paradigms, such as the eras of fascism, decolonization, or the Cold War. Looking for local specificities as well as for transnational links, ideas of Progress related to the formation of “New Men” are studied especially in connection with the issues of the body, of spaces, and of symbols.