With the collapse of communism, a new world seemed to open for the peoples of East Central Europe. The possibilities this world presented, and the costs it exacted, have been experienced differently by men and women. Susan Gal and Gail Kligman explore these differences through a probing analysis of the role of gender in reshaping politics and social relations since 1989.
The authors raise two crucial questions: How are gender relations and ideas about gender shaping political and economic change in the region? And what forms of gender inequality are emerging as a result? The book provides a rich understanding of gender relations and their significance in social and institutional transformations. Gal and Kligman offer a systematic comparison of East Central European gender relations with those of western welfare states, and with the presocialist, bourgeois past. Throughout this essay, the authors attend to historical comparisons as well as cross regional interactions and contrasts. Their work contributes importantly to the study of postsocialism, and to the broader feminist literature that critically examines how states and political-economic processes are gendered, and how states and markets regulate gender relations.
Winner of the Heldt Prize for Best Book in Slavic/Eurasian/East European Women's Studies "The contributors not only show what has and has not changed since the old order's collapse; they create another vantage point from which to judge the whole process of postsocialist and economic transformation."--Foreign Affairs "In this insightful and accessibly written edited volume, Susan Gal and Gail Kligman have collected a diverse group of essays analyzing the democratization and marketization processes occurring in east central Europe through a gendered lens... Not only have women and men been affected differently by the economic and political changes under postcommunism, but, as this volume's case studies show, gendered analysis lends insight into the process of transition itself."--Valerie Sperling, Slavic Review "Breathtaking in scope and beautifully written, The Politics of Gender After Socialism is a compelling look at the ways in which women and men, states and markets, negotiate the politics of gender in a changing social world. Gal and Kligman have made a vital contribution not only to the literature on the transition in East Central Europe but also to the study of gender, economy and politics. A stunning analysis."--Nancy Weiss Hanrahan, Journal of Social History "Gal and Kligman have produced a tour de force of political exegesis and scholarship. The Politics of Gender after Socialism is destined to become a classic in studies of gender and political sociology as well as 'transition.' Scholars of political culture and institutions, whether they focus upon gender or not, East or West, will find this book important and stimulating."--Mabel Berezin, American Journal of Sociology
Acknowledgments ix 1. After Socialism 3 2. Reproduction as Politics 15 3. Dilemmas of Public and Private 37 4. Forms of States, Forms of "Family" 63 5. Arenas of Political Action 91 6. Gender and Change 109 Notes 119 Bibliography 141 Index 163