Drawing on oral history interviews, legislation, and media, this talk examines the gendered dimensions of life in state socialist Romania. It demonstrates that gender policies, as well as women’s everyday lives, were characterized by ambiguities: while the state transformed women’s life trajectories through universal education, mass employment, and increased access to consumer goods and leisure, it simultaneously undermined women’s reproductive freedom and access to divorce. Moreover, traditional ideas about gender continued to shape ordinary attitudes and behaviors, underscoring the challenges associated with transforming social relationships. The talk concludes by considering the ambiguities of postsocialism and highlights the salience of socialism for understanding women’s roles and relationship to the state since 1989.
Dr. Jill Massino is Associate Professor of Modern European History at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. Her latest publication is Ambiguous Transitions: Gender, The State, And Everyday Life In Socialist And Postsocialist Romania (New York: Berghahn Books, 2019). Currently, she is working on a new project, “Cold War Collaborations”, which explores Romania’s connections with the Global South during the Cold War.
Tuesday, 11 May 2021 at 17.00 (GMT+2)
Online - Webex
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