Living Gender after Communism

Living Gender after Communism

Edited by Janet Elise Johnson and Jean C. Robinson
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/12/2006
Format: Hardback 12 b&w photos, 1 figures
ISBN: 978-0-253-34812-8
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How has the collapse of communism across Europe and Eurasia changed gender? In addition to acknowledging the huge costs that fell heavily on women, Living Gender after Communism suggests that moving away from communism in Europe and Eurasia has provided an opportunity for gender to multiply, from varieties of neo-traditionalism to feminisms, from overt negotiation of femininity to denials of gender. This development,
in turn, has enabled some women in the region to construct their own gendered identities for their own political, economic, or social purposes. Beginning with an understanding of gender as both a society-wide institution that regulates people’s lives and a cultural "toolkit" which individuals and groups may use to subvert or "transvalue" the sex/gender system, the contributors to this volume provide detailed case studies from Belarus, Bosnia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. This collaboration between young scholars—most from postcommunist states—and experts in the fields of gender studies and postcommunism combines intimate knowledge of the area with sophisticated gender analysis to examine just how much gender realities have shifted in the region.

Contributors are Anna Brzozowska, Karen Dawisha, Nanette Funk, Ewa Grigar, Azra Hromadzic, Janet Elise Johnson, Anne-Marie Kramer, Tania Rands Lyon, Jean C. Robinson, Iulia Shevchenko, Svitlana Taraban, and Shannon Woodcock.

Author Bio

Janet Elise Johnson is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

Jean C. Robinson is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University. She is co-editor of Women and Social Policy: From Local to Global, a special issue of NWSA Journal.


“Based on detailed case studies, this stimulating collaboration between scholars—most from postcommunist states—highlights postcommunist opportunities for renegotiating gender roles in Central and Eastern Europe.”

“. . . this volume will interest a wide variety of gender and regional specialists who are searching for new ways to study the multidimensional nature of post-communism.”
 — The Russian Review

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Karen Dawisha

Living Gender Janet Elise Johnson and Jean C. Robinson
I. Negotiating Gender
1. Housewife Fantasies, Family Realities in the New Russia Tania Rands Lyon
2. Contesting Violence, Contesting Gender: Crisis Centers Encountering Local Governments in Barnaul, Russia Janet Elise Johnson
II. Denying Gender
3. The Abortion Debate in Poland: Opinion Polls, Ideological Politics, Citizenship, and the Erasure of Gender as a Category of Analysis Anne-Marie Kramer
4. The Gendered Body as Raw Material for Women Artists of Central Eastern Europe after Communism Ewa Grigar
III. Traditionalizing Gender
5. Birthday Girls, Russian Dolls, and Others: Internet Bride as the Emerging Global Identity of Post-Soviet Women Svitlana Taraban
6. Does the Gender of MPs Matter in Postcommunist Politics? The Case of the Russian Duma, 1995<N>2001 Iulia Shevchenko
IV. Negotiating Gender within Nationalisms
7. Romanian Women's Discourses of Sexual Violence: Othered Ethnicities, Gendering Spaces Shannon Woodcock
8. Challenging the Discourse of Bosnian War Rapes Azra Hromadzic
9. Deficient Belarus? Insidious Gender Binaries and Hyper-feminized Nationality Anna Brzozowska
Fifteen Years of the East-West Women's Dialogue Nanette Funk

Works Cited
List of Contributors