Rebellious Parents

Rebellious Parents

Parental Movements in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia
Edited by Katalin Fabian and Elzbieta Korolczuk
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 07/18/2017
ISBN: 978-0-253-02673-6
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Parental activism movements are strengthening around the world and often spark tense personal and political debate. With an emphasis on Russia and Central and Eastern Europe, this collection analyzes formal organizations as well as informal networks and online platforms which mobilize parents to advocate for change on a grassroots level. In doing so, the work collected here explores the interactions between the politics, everyday life, and social activism of mothers and fathers. From fathers’ rights movements to natural childbirth to vaccination debates, these essays provide new insight into the identities and strategies applied by these movements as they confront local ideals of gender and family with global ideologies.

Author Bio

Katalin Fábián is Professor in the Department of Government and Law at Lafayette College. She edited Domestic Violence in Postcommunist States: Local Activism, National Policies, and Global Forces.

Elżbieta Korolczuk is Researcher in the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg and the School of Culture and Education at Södertörn University, Sweden. She is coeditor of several Polish volumes on parenthood and politics.


“This is an important and innovative book about a developing social phenomenon -- parental movements -- that is not yet on the radar screens of gender scholars of eastern Europe and those interested in gender-inflected social movements more generally, around the world. But it should be. The volume collects contrasting case studies that are not easy to categorize as conservative or progressive. That contributes to the book's interest, opening up new conceptualizations. It reveals emerging and sometimes unexpected positions, strategies and commitments among eastern European citizens.”
 — Susan Gal, author of Reproducing Gender: Politics, Publics, and Everyday Life After Socialism

“This is an excellent collection with conceptual and methodological unity and high quality contributions that are thoroughly researched. ... The work makes a real contribution to the field (both theoretically and empirically), challenges stereotypes, and presents new areas of valuable research.”
 — Nanette Funk, coeditor of Gender Politics and Post-Communism: Reflections from Eastern Europe and the Former Sovie

“We see here evidence of engaged citizens, not directly challenging political leaders about broad economic or political policies, but seeking to change public attitudes to vital issues facing people in their everyday lives as parents. ...This is very much a contribution to scholarship and knowledge. We just don't know about this type of activism.”
 — David Ost, author of The Defeat of Solidarity: Anger and Politics in Postcommunist Europe

“A thought provoking, timely and highly relevant collection. ”
 — Hungarian Cultural Studies

“Bringing together 11 case studies that encompass Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Baltics and Russia, this volume challenges us to think differently about civil society, masculinity, parenting, biological citizenship and the relevance of the label ‘post-communist’ studies.”
 — Europe-Asia Studies

“These valuable case studies show how initially amorphous groups can be empowered by finding or being given greater cultural, financial, or political footing.”
 — Slavic Review

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Rebellious Parents in Central-Eastern Europe and Russia / Katalin Fabian and Elzbieta Korolczuk
1. Nationalism and Civicness in Contemporary Russia: Grassroots Mobilization in Defense of Traditional Family Values / Tova Hojdestrand
2. "For the Sake of Our Children’s Future": A Conservative Parents’ Mobilization in Ukraine / Olena Strelnyk
3. (Un)deserving Parents: Constructing Parenthood and Nation in Bulgaria through New Reproductive Technologies / Ina Dimitrova
4. In the Name of the Family and Nation: Framing Fathers’ Activism in Poland / Elzbieta Korolczuk and Renata E. Hryciuk
5. Civil Society and Fatherhood in the Borderlands: Promoting Active Fathers in Russian Daddy-Schools / Pelle Aberg and Johnny Rodin
6. Fathers’ Activism in Contemporary Ukraine: Contradictory Positions on Gender Equality / Iman Karzabi
7. Down and Out in a "Femo-Fascist" State: the Czech Fathers’ Discussion Forum / Steven Saxonberg
8. Resisting Mandatory Vaccination: the Formation of the "Informed Parent" in the Czech Republic / Jaroslava Hasmanova Marhankova
9. From Tired Parents to NGO Advocacy for Children with Intellectual Disabilities: The Case of the Baltic States / Egle Sumskiene
10. The Natural Childbirth Movement in the Czech Republic / Ema Hresanova
11. Parents Rebelling against the State: Emotions and Images in the Hungarian Home-Birth Movement / Katalin Fabian
12. Regionaland Theoretical Lessons:New Perspectives on Civil Societies and Ambiguities toward the State, the West, and Gender Equality / Katalin Fabian and Elzbieta Korolczuk