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The Politics of Gender after Socialism:
A Comparative-Historical Essay
Susan Gal & Gail Kligman

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"The Politics of Gender after Socialism is a majestic work. Susan Gal and Gail Kligman offer a theoretically ambitious and empirically well grounded analysis of the transition from socialism to capitalism. They cover the most diverse aspects of social existence, from struggles about abortion and reproductive rights to the separation of public-private spheres, to the remaking of the political and economic system. In each of these fields they demonstrate the gendered nature of social transformation. They show persuasively the balance of continuity and change both in gender relations and in the social character of socialist and postsocialist formation. This book is far more than a study of gender issues after the fall of socialism; it is a major contribution to the theory of transition to a market economy and democracy."--Ivan Szelenyi, Yale University

"Finally a book that makes sense of contemporary gender politics in East Central Europe. Written with great clarity, but no sacrifice of depth or complexity, Gal and Kligman give us the theoretical and historical tools for understanding social and political developments since the fall of communism. Most impressively they provide concrete illustrations for their point that concepts such as 'masculine,' 'feminine,' 'the welfare state,' 'public,' and 'private,' are variable and need to be read in their historical contexts."--Joan Wallach Scott, Institute for Advanced Study

"This is a very important and engaging study on East-Central European societies and their transformations through the lens of gender. It is a wonderful source of information on different aspects of gender relations in Eastern Europe and a major theoretical contribution to at least three distinct fields of study: feminist theory, studies on social change, and research on Eastern Europe."--Eva Fodor, Dartmouth College

"Gal and Kligman's synthesis of the gender issues and tensions in the transformation of east-central Europe is a tour-de-force. They show how deeply and differently gender was imbedded in the economic and political structures of these countries, and also how the transformation itself has had a strongly gendered character. By looking at the transformation process as a whole through a gender lens, the authors gain a critical handle on the misleading dichotomization of public and private that has characterized so much discussion of the area. Rather than painting women as the passive victims of marketization or the unambiguous beneficiaries of democratization, they tease out the conflicting tendencies toward empowerment and marginalization that are lurking in the changes in families, economies and politics throughout the region. This is a crucial contribution to studies of gender, the transformation and the state in general."--Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin, Madison

"The Politics of Gender after Socialism is a stunning analysis of how the gender relations of the former socialist states are being transformed in the transition to privatization and market economies. . . . 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. . . . 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."--Nancy Weiss Hanrahan

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File created: 4/21/2017

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