Peter Hallama, Historisches Institut, Universität Bern (Web)
Proposals by: 30.09.2019
For several decades now, scholars have taken an interest in analyzing the socialist attempt to transform traditional gender arrangements and revolutionize the family. In contrasting the ideal of women’s emancipation with everyday experience under socialism, studies have demonstrated the limits of the socialist “solution” to “the woman question.” However, recent debates about the very notion, meaning, and existence of feminism(s) under socialist rule show the ongoing relevance of the topic. Central and Eastern European gender history is a dynamic field and recent efforts include overcoming the continuing Cold War stereotypes and paradigms and writing a nonlinear history of socialist feminism.
Another current challenge is to consider critical men’s studies and the history of masculinities, and to make these approaches fruitful for Eastern European gender studies and the gender history of socialism. The understanding of masculinities – like femininities – as a social and cultural construct that necessarily underlies historical change, and the performative and multifaceted view on male domination (over women and over other men), provide important avenues to write a truly relational, interactive, and dynamic gender history. Applying critical men’s studies and the history of masculinities to the history of state-socialist Eastern Europe opens new possibilities for further research. What impact did the making of “new” women – better educated, economically independent, and enjoying more legal rights – have on the constructions of masculinity and fatherhood in state-socialist societies? How did men react to socialist gender agendas? What did socialism mean for men, and what did masculinity mean for socialists? Read more and source … (Web)