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Gendering Balkanisms

Gender, Culture, and Class in Nineteenth-Century Women's Travelogues in the Balkans

Marina Matešić

This article links nineteenth-century travelogues about the Balkans written by European women travelers—Dora d'Istria, Maria Karlova, Emily Strangford, and Paulina Irby and Georgina Mackenzie—both to a broader historical discourse called Balkanism and to the socio-historical contexts of the authors themselves. It examines the ways in which these texts adopted existing hegemonic dichotomies of Balkanism concerning culture, ethnicity/religion, and gender and whether they set new paths for Balkanist discourse. Written during the time of anti-Ottoman uprisings and nation-building movements, the travelogues expressed diverse humanitarian, Christian, feminist, anti-imperial/Turkish and other agendas and discussed the crucial role of (Balkan) women in it. Through a particular focus on domestic life and the lives of women, these women travelers also spoke of their own position in society, bringing to light their struggle for equality in traveling, writing, and participating in broader political and social life, and in that way disturbed the male-centered Balkanist discourse.

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Gendered Models of Resistance

Jansenist Nuns and Unigenitus

Mita Choudhury

In the decades following the promulgation of the anti-Jansenist bull Unigenitus, scores of nuns and convents resisted the efforts of authorities to make them acquiesce to the Bull. Male Jansenist authors writing from a figurist perspective transformed this female dissent into the model for all forms of spiritual resistance against Unigenitus. Their gendered constructions represented a challenge to the church hierarchy, forging nuns into a political weapon against the ultramontane episcopacy. The controversy over the Religieuses Hospitalières during the 1750s reveals how Jansenist lawyers and magistrates deployed the controversies over these “model” nuns to censure episcopal despotism and to legitimate parliamentary intervention in religious affairs, thereby opening the way to prescribing constitutional limits on the monarchy itself.

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Gendered Experiences of Mobility

Travel Behavior of Middle-class Women in Dhaka City

Shahnaz Huq-Hussain and Umme Habiba

This article examines the travel behavior of middle-class women in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh and one of the world's largest and most densely populated cities. In particular, we focus on women's use of non-motorized rickshaws to understand the constraints on mobility for women in Dhaka. Primary research, in the form of an empirical study that surveyed women in six neighborhoods of Dhaka, underpins our findings. Our quantitative and qualitative data presents a detailed picture of women's mobility through the city. We argue that although over 75 percent of women surveyed chose the rickshaw as their main vehicle for travel, they did so within a complex framework of limited transport options. Women's mobility patterns have been further complicated by government action to decrease congestion by banning rickshaws from major roads in the city. Our article highlights the constraints on mobility that middle-class women in Dhaka face including inadequate services, poorly maintained roads, adverse weather conditions, safety and security issues, and the difficulty of confronting traditional views of women in public arenas.

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Susan Zimmermann

This study argues that the changing relationship between paid work, unpaid work and paid care work and social services, and the struggle over this relationship and its implications, constituted key factors in shaping the ‘state socialist’ gender regime in Hungary from 1949 to the 1980s. The study is based on a wealth of recent scholarship, original sources and Hungarian research conducted during the state socialist period. It tries to give a balanced and inclusive analysis of key elements of women’s and gender history in the state socialist project of ‘catching-up development’ in a semi-peripheral patriarchal society, pointing to constraints, challenges and results of this project. Due to the complex interaction of a variety of actors and factors impacting on and shaping the state socialist gender regime not all women were affected in the same way by state socialist politics and gender struggles. Women’s status and opportunities, as well as gender relations, differed according to class, ethnicity and economic sector. As a rule, the gender struggle over state socialist family and gender arrangements in Hungary sought to reduce or temper tensions and conflicts by avoiding substantial or direct attack against the privileges of men both within the home and elsewhere.

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Gender Policy in Australian Schools

A Missed Opportunity?

Deborah Hartman

This paper describes the rise of boys’ education as a substantial social and educational issue in Australia in the 1990s, mapping the changes in Australian discourses on boys’ education in this period. Ideas and authors informed by the men’s movement entered the discourses about boys’ education, contributing to a wave of teacher experimentation and new ways of thinking about gender policies in schools. The author suggests that there is currently a policy impasse, and proposes a new multi-disciplinary approach bringing together academic, practitioner, policy, and public discourses on boys’ education.

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Gendered Images and Soviet Subjects

How the Komsomol Archive Enriched My Understanding of Gender in Soviet War Culture

Adrienne M. Harris

In this article, I detail how archival finds helped me develop questions on World War II martyr heroes and their role in Soviet culture and Russian collective memory. I consider how one might approach silences, read discrepancies in archival holdings, and extrapolate meaning from various kinds of documents. Considering that the Russian State Archive of Sociopolitical History Komsomol archive allows one to study the evolution of gender via the continuous reshaping of feminine and masculine ideals for Soviet youth, I discuss how the archive might open up new research areas and prompt additional questions for gender historians, and lead one to reconsider power and authority in the Soviet past.

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Hanna Herzog

The most notable indication that research and discussion regarding gender and feminism are flourishing is the increase in the number of books in these fields and the fact that bookstores are allocating a separate section for them. For years, publishing in Hebrew on the issue of gender was very limited, but around the end of the 1980s it began to expand. In fact, from the turn of the century it has become difficult to keep up with all the literature being published in Hebrew.

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Gender Role Conflict Scale for Adolescents

Correlates with Masculinity Ideology

Chris Blazina, Maribel A. Cordova, Stewart Pisecco and Anna G. Settle

This study investigated the Gender Role Conflict Scale-Adolescent Version (GRCS-A) and its relationship with the Gender Role Conflict Scale (GRCS), the measure from which it was adapted. Significant correlations between the adult and adolescent versions provided support for the concurrent validity of the GRCS-A. Further analyses revealed that two other measures of male masculinity, the Adolescent Masculinity Ideology in Relationships Scale (AMIRS) and Male Role Attitudes Scale (MRAS), are also significantly related to the GRCS-A. Implications for future research and clinical use are discussed.

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Gender and Honour in Historical Perspective

Insights from Modern Greece

Paris Papamichos-Chronakis

Thomas W. Gallant, Experiencing Dominion. Culture, Identity and Power in the British Mediterranean (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002), 252 pp., $19.00 (pb). ISBN 0-268-02802-8

Efi Avdela, ‘Dia logous timis’. Via, Sinesthimata ke Axies sti Metemfiliaki Ellada (‘For the sake of honour’: Violence, emotions, and values in post-Civil War Greece) (Athens: Nefeli Publications, 2002), 257 pp., n15.00 (pb). ISBN 960-211-656-0

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Katherine Weikert and Elena Woodacre

In January 2014, the University of Winchester hosted the Gender and Medieval Studies conference. Held sporadically since the late 1980s and, for the most part, annually in the last fifteen years, the conference series is dedicated to the study of gender in the Middle Ages. In 2014 at Winchester, the topic for discussion was “gender and status.” This topic was specifically chosen for the potential fruitfulness of the idea: gender and status could encompass ideas such as social status, employment, figures of authority, marital status, legal issues, and could potentially suit any academic discipline or geographic context. The 2014 conference welcomed more than ninety scholars from throughout Europe and North America speaking on topics ranging from medieval gynecology to clerical masculinity. As the conference organizers noted, the large number of scholars attending and speaking on gender and status in the medieval world might indicate larger trends in medieval scholarship: that studying gender in the medieval world was no longer a niche subject, but part of the wider landscape of not just medieval studies but scholarship in general.