Social History Yearbook 2003

Russian Social History Yearbook 2003

Social'naja istorija. Ezhegodnik, 2003
(Social History. Yearbook 2003)
Moskva, ROSSPEN, 2003, 528 p.

Zhenskaja i gendernaja istorija (Women's and Gender History), Ed. by N.L.Pushkareva.


N.L. Pushkareva
Women's History, Gender History: Similarities, Distinctions, Perspectives

The article discusses the correlation between "women's history" and "gender" history. Is it possible to consider "women's history" as a preparatory stage to the appearance of "gender history"? What does the term "gender history" mean? Does it cover only the relations between t sexes and the history of femininity and masculinity or it is the discipline much wider than the simple combination of these separate and constituent parts? The author argues that the subject of gender history is the history of the formation and functioning of the system of relations and interrelations, which stratifies society on a gender basis, the history of conceptions about "male" and "female", as well as about the categories of social hierarchy. How did such an understanding of gender history appear, and which theoretical, social and political factors contributed to its appearance? Is it possible to study women's and gender history without sharing feminist ideas? The author attempts to find answers to these questions, traces the correlation between gender and social history, and formulates several propositions concerning the possibilities for interaction and mutual enrichment of the disciplines.

M. Perro
History under the Sign of Gender

The author attempts to answer the main questions posed by researchers from other disciplines to specialists on gender studies: when, why, and how did "history of women" appear as a new field of research and what is "gender history"? What is the significance and what are the consequences of the appearance of this new field for the historical sciences as a whole? Characterising traditional historiography as the narrative of the male doer, the author shows how the neglect of women came into being and proposes solutions to correct this historical injustice. The author contends that the most important feature of women's history is its totality and the possibility to "raze interdisciplinary boundaries", but that this will hinder the institutionalisation of women's studies as a separate discipline within the history departments of universities.

Ju.Ju. Dresvina
The Personality of a Medieval Woman: Theology as Autobiography in the Book of Julian of Norwich

The article deals with the first English woman writer Julian of Norwich (1342-1416/29?) and her mystical treatise "Revelations of Divine Love", treated as a sort of spiritual autobiography which reflects certain personal features and experiences of this outstanding author. The most important categories of Julian's autobiographic discourse are the following: the realisation of her 'Self' and of the world around her; images, related to her gender (humility, home, God as Mother); her social environment and social context; her understanding of official doctrine of the Church in connection with the revelation she received; her understanding of human nature; the progress of her personality and the transformation of her 'Self' during the 20 years in which she wrote her Book. The aim pursued in the article is to introduce this extraordinary woman and her work to a Russian audience.

Ju.P. Krylova
"You Created Me Badly, I'll Make Myself Better.." (The Male Perception of Women and Their Embellishment, 14th Century)

The article deals with one aspect of women's life in the Late Middle Ages: their passion for embellishing themselves, and the opinions this evoked from the, exclusively male, moralists and preachers of the time in didactic treatises and sermons. The most famous medieval clerics - Vincent de Beauvais, Etienne de Bourbon, Gilles d'Orlean - were very much concerned about that pernicious passion of women.
This research is based on the Instructive book for daughters of the French nobleman Geoffroy de La Tour Landry (1371). The author stuck closely to existing tradition. Telling entertaining stories, he aimed to edify his readers and asked them to be careful on this issue, as imprudent behaviour could ruin their reputation in the "beau monde". Unlike his predecessors', the advice of La Tour Landry was rather contradictory. Realising the difficulties that stood in his way, the father advised to stick to the principle of "moyen estat" and to moderate one's behaviour.

K.Ju .Erusalimskij A Divorce in Wolynia: the Case of Mary Holshanskaya
The article deals with the divorce-story (1577 - 1582) of the Lithuanian prince Andrew Kurbsky and princess Mary Holshanskaya. Based on documents from the Wladimir and Lutsk judicial books, the Russian Book of embassies and acts of the Polish and Lithuanian Royal Metrics, the author analyses the various stages in the conflict and the personal and group-based motives as represented in these outspokenly biased sources. The domestic rupture is studied in the framework of existing gender contradictions, contributing to a complex and protracted conflict, involving political accusations and the falsification of judicial documents. Different social languages emerge from the sources, and the sequence of the divorce depended largely on the interests and intentions of the sides as embodied in and by the acts of legal proceedings.

M.G. Muravieva
"A Lord or a Gentleman: the Evolution of English Masculinities in Early Modern England."

Masculinities appear to be a supplementary topic within gender studies, largely as an alternative way to express power/gender relationships. Studying masculinities, especially those of any elite, gives us clearer understanding of social and political processes in society. This article deals with the evolution of English elite masculinities in the 17th and 18th centuries, which were a period of dramatic societal and political transformation. The idea is to examine the concepts of self-identification of the English peerage in order to find out how the Self and its gender (masculine) component influenced the way in which the British political elite developed in modern times. The most famous concept, that of a gentleman and gentlemanly behaviour, was (and is) considered as a usual form of universal identity for both peerage and gentry. It is gender based and it becomes the foundation for a further development of the concept of patriarchy in early modern England. Sources show, however, that peers did not consider themselves as gentlemen and that the concept of a gentleman itself was developed within the gentry and the professions and subsequently spread among other groups of society through public discourse. The lord as a masculine type differed from the gentleman in the way he understood masculinity and in the way he set priorities for a man's life. For a lord social position was much more important than "real" masculinity, moreover, certain types of masculinity followed social status, whereas for a gentleman masculinity tended to be the very first, principal and most fundamental identity. The struggle between the (im)masculinity of the lord and the gentleman's masculinity left a deep imprint on the institute of "patriarchy". Changes in the identity of the elite led to changes in the patriarchy itself at both the theoretical and the practical level. Consequently, the patriarchy of the 19th century did not resemble the patriarchal order of the 17th century, as the system of dominance had very different theoretical foundations, rooted in different concepts of masculinity.

V.D. Leleko
The Semantics of Somatic Space in European Culture: the Gender Aspect

The article deals with the cultural construction of the functionality of human body space zones like the head, the hands, the genitals and the feet. The author highlights gender distinctions in the conceptions about their functionality. Whereas the head, for example, is primarily an instrument of thought for both men and women, the prerogative of correct, deep, and adequate thinking is given to the male. A person's beauty is a gender-universal human value, but for women it is more important as it is connected to the appraisal of men. Similar distinctions are revealed for other parts of the human body and are described and analysed on the basis of examples from European history, literature and painting. Cultural orientation on Men and its androcentered character are vividly reflected in these distinctions. A female vision of somatic space starts to appear only in the second half of the 20th century.

O.R. Kis
Motherhood and Childhood in the Ukrainian Tradition: Deconstructing the Myth

The image of Beregynia originated from the idea of primeval domestic matriarchy of Ukrainians and became the core of Ukrainian stereotypes on femininity over the last years. Based on the traditional gender stereotype it propagates the idea of perfect motherhood and childhood as inherent to Ukrainian historical tradition. The article proves that the image of Beregynia is a completely artificial one, an alloy of fragments of archaic myths, literary characters and patriarchal ideology, whereas ethnological data of the late 19th -20th centuries show many latent contradictions between the ideal image of a Good Mother and everyday practices of child care. The successful realisation of reproductive faculties has been regarded in public opinion as the main goal of a woman's life while sterility has been considered as a grief or God's punishment for sin. Thus, female identity has from the very beginning been constructed in terms of her future duties as a mother. In the mother-child relationship one can observe both harmony and partnership as well as conflicts and subordination, of which widespread practices of punishment (corporal, verbal, and moral) are an integral part. Due to a wide array of domestic duties children were not the only focus of maternal attention. The value of children's lives depended on their age and the opportunity to use their labour in the household economy (usually children had some permanent household duties or worked as hired labourers). Through an unbiased analysis of the social role of the mother the delusive myth of perfect Motherhood and Childhood in the Ukrainian peasant family is deconstructed.

I.A. Shkolnikov and O.V. Shnyrova
Women's suffrage as a phenomenon in British Contemporary History: some of the main problems and approaches.

The article deals with the central issues of the women's suffrage movement in Great Britain of the second half of the 19th, start of the 20th centuries, addressing the specifics of the feminist movement in England, the militancy of the suffrage movement, the relations between militant and constitutional suffragists, the women's suffrage movement and party politics, male feminism, the anti-suffrage movement, and the results and importance of the women's suffrage movement in British contemporary history. The authors present a survey of recent Western historiography on these issues and express their own point of view on the history of the women's suffrage movement in England.

E.I Gapova.
The Interbellum: The Women's Question in National Projects

The paper considers the different ways in which during the inter-war period (1921-1939) "the women's question" was framed in Soviet Byelorussia, which was then a part of the Soviet Union, and in Western Belarus, which was incorporated into Poland. The rationale for comparing ideal womanhood within two very different projects - one of building socialism and challenging the traditional gender order, the other of mobilising an ethnic minority - is the idea of a "national subject". The difference in imagining a collective national subject shaped two stories of women's emancipation. In Soviet Byelorussia, it implied taking the "masses of women-workers to a new life". In Western Belarus, the project was based on the nationalist idea of molding a female citizen, a "true daughter of her nation". The difference between the two projects was in the involvement of the state, which was much greater under socialism. Still, there are important similarities. In both cases, women were seen as a part of some entity, class or nation, though in both cases these were rather nation-classes, whose identity and rights were put to doubt. In both cases, it was believed by both women and the community that empowering the community would also liberate the women. And in both cases there was a grain of truth in this, although only to a limited extent.

E.F. Ivanova
Memory and Historical Events (the Example of the Holocaust): The Gender Aspect

The article deals with the gender aspects of existing popular memory of historical events in Ukraine, in particular the Holocaust. The empirical data are the essays about the Holocaust collected from school students. Discourse analysis methodology was used to analyse them. It is shown that school students resort to different discourses in describing the events of the Holocaust. Males mostly use such discourses as historical, comparable, openly Anti-Semitic discourses and the discourse of personification. Females are mainly characterized by using everyday life discourse, hidden Anti-Semitic, empathetic, mixed, and antiracist discourses. The article delineates both the common features and the peculiarities of male and female memory about the Holocaust.

V.V. Dolgov
"Zlo est' zhen'skaya prelest'" ["Evil is A Women's Charm"] (Sexual Life of Russians in the 11th-13th Centuries and Their Attitude to a Women)

The article is devoted to gender morality and the perception of love in public consciousness in Russia during the 11th-12th centuries. The author analyses sexual prohibitions, practices of "double standards" in the relations between the sexes, the influence of local Slavic and Byzantine Orthodox traditions on sexual life, medieval perceptions of "high love", of marriage, of a woman as "a receptacle of devilish temptation". Attention is devoted to the activities of the Church in strengthening the new forms of Christian morality in this society of former pagans. Sexual culture is considered as an integral part of everyday life and culture in Russian society of the time. This picture of sexual relations was reconstructed on the basis of various sources, including chronicles, hagiographies, Church and state legal acts, as well as folklore.

D. Kaiser
"He Said, She Said": Rape and Gender Discourse in Early Modern Russia

Using the trial records of four rape cases from seventeenth-century Russia, Daniel Kaiser argues that gender did matter in how rape was reported and punished. Muscovite women who gave testimony did not shrink from charging men with rape, and pursued prosecution, sometimes quite energetically, even when officials seemed slow to act; other women often supported their claims. For their part, however, men generally denied any part in rape, and regularly employed rape myths to impugn the integrity of the women whom they had assaulted. Surveys from the industrial world indicate that "attitudes toward rape victims mirror attitudes toward women more generally," so that men regularly deny sexual assault and blame women, employing "rape myths" to justify themselves. That the same rape myths should enjoy currency in early modern Russia where misogyny and patriarchy often combined to demean women's status is hardly surprising. On the other hand, Muscovite courts, creations of the same men who dominated the rest of the patriarchal political and social order of seventeenth-century Russia, frequently credited the testimony of women rape victims, defying a simple gender-based explanation. Although this seeming paradox requires special study, Kaiser hypothesizes that, even though early modern Russia reflected a deeply gendered culture, Russian church courts, like their parallels in colonial America, trusted women's word more than men's because they saw rape more as sin than as crime.

A.V. Belova
The Russian Provincial Noblewoman's Daily Life in the Late 18th and Early 19th Centuries.

The article discusses the integration of a gender approach into the history of everyday-life - one of the new disciplines which has lately attracted the attention of Russian historians. The author's analysis focuses on the daily life of Russian noblewomen in the provinces during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The article is based on a variety of sources, including materials from the archives of Russian aristocrats kept at the State Archive of the Tver region, in particular private correspondence, memoirs, diaries, and belles-lettres. The analysis of the gender aspects of the everyday life of the Russian nobility is placed firmly within a broader study of Russian noble culture at the time. The author examines the interaction of national, gender and regional identity discourses in the everyday life of the Russian noblewoman. The various identities are then related to women's self-awareness and individuality. The private correspondence with which the author deals was an organic part of everyday life for provincial noblewomen in Russia. It provided women with a unique means of self-expression, and as such carried the whole range of moods and feelings of "the fairer half" of the nobility. Letters were a mirror of women's individuality, reflecting their personalities and emotions.

A. A. Uljura
"A Timid Muse of Mine.." (Russian Women Writers of the 18th Century)

The article deals with some peculiarities of early Russian women's literature of the 18th century. The historical, social-cultural, psychological and literary premises for the emergence of a certain type of woman-writer are analysed, as well as the connection of female creative work to ideas of European origins in Russian culture. Special attention is paid to the creative work of the first Russian women-writers in forming the cultural patrimony of the nobility (E.Sumarokova, E.Kheraskova, E.Urusova, M.Sushkova) and women's literary activities in creative alliances, or tandems (the Magnitskiy sisters, the Svinyins, the Volkonskiys). The peculiarity of the work of royal authors of Russian women's literature (Kseniya Godunova, Ielisaneta Petrovna, Katherine the Great) is underlined and inward and outward literary (social-political) motives of their literary work are distinguished.

O.E. Glagoleva
The Bitter Consequences of the Enlightenment: Three Russian Provincial Noblewomen in the Eighteenth Century

Based on a comparative analysis of the memoirs of Ivan Nepliuev, Andrei Bolotov, and Anna Labzina, the article presents the lives of three Russian provincial noblewomen, Fedos'ia Nepliueva (1695-1740), Aleksandra Bolotova (1751-1834), and Anna Karamysheva (Labzina in her second marriage, 1758-1828). Gender relations in the families as well as in contemporary society are the study's main focus. The article depicts the differences in socio-cultural roles which the eighteenth-century normative concepts ascribed to women and men, and it examines their change brought about by the transition from patriarchal tradition to more modernized ways of life in the Russian provinces. The study shows that a woman's existence, totally marginalized both in men's and society's perception prior to this change (Nepliueva), acquires more significance in her husband's life and work even if it does not yet reach beyond the private sphere of the family (Bolotova). From a woman's perspective (Labzina), the ages-old "woman - private sphere /man - public sphere" dichotomy is questioned, as the memoirist primarily bases her self-identification on her public activities (charity) while interacting with her husband solely in the private sphere of the family. Yet the examination of all of the three memoirs allows to trace some common patterns in male and female views on the matter of power in gender relations: men's dominance and women's submissiveness remain generally unchallenged both in people's attitudes and social practices during the whole century even if described differently by male and female authors.

Ju.M. Goncharov
Frontier Women: Siberian Women in Provincial Society in the Middle of the 19th-Early 20th Century

The article studies the position of women in the Siberian society of the middle of the 19th - early 20th centuries. In Siberia as well as in other Russian provinces in this period the presence of a double standard was characteristic for the control of female and male sexuality. The role of women in the economic life of Siberia was rather significant: the women were the owners of an essential part of the real estate, they were actively engaged in entrepreneurial activity, and they were more and more involved in production. The cultural backwardness of this region of intensive colonisation vis a vis the centre left Siberian women with little opportunities to participate in cultural life, and this found its expression in, among others, a low level of literacy and a more limited availability of education for women than for men. By virtue of a significant level of traditionalism existing gender roles cast women first of all in the roles of housekeeper and mother, i. e. within the realm of family life.
As a result of the social and economic development of Siberia during the period of modernisation women's economic dependence was reduced, an urban image of life started to dominate and female education and culture took a flight. In conjunction, these factors undermined traditional patriarchal values.
The specific circumstances in the Siberian region shaped the life of Siberian women as well as their mentality and position in society. By all accounts of contemporaries Siberian women were more vigorous, active, enterprising, and independent than women from central Russia, and family relations in Siberia were more democratic.

E.N. Stroganova
Women's Literary Critics as Historical and Cultural Phenomena in the Second Part of the19th Century

The article is devoted to M.K.Tsebrikova, one of the most renowned female literary critics of the second half of the 19th century. Peculiar for Tsebrikova's work is that the problem of gender asymmetries was the prevailing motif of her literary articles. A detailed analysis of the creative activities of female writers shows that she was one of the founders of the formation of feminine discourse in Russian literary critics of the 19th century. She stated that the most common character in Russian literature was a "teremnaya" (of the word "terem"), domestic woman, bounded by common values of patriarchate. Great writers, whom she considered to be real geniuses, were, from her point of view, unable to overcome the limitations of this ideal of the "teremnaya" woman. She found this to be true for female writers as well. Tsebrikova, unlike her contemporaries and a succeeding generation of critics, detected the emergence of a "new" female character in the works of writers of popular fiction like I. Kushchevski, P.Boborykin, S.Smirnova.

I.I. Yukina
The Ideology of Russian Feminism of the First Wave

The paper discusses the ideology of the Russian feminism of the first wave, which the author defines traditionally as the struggle for the suffrage during the period from the second half of the 19th till the beginning of the 20th century. Disagreement with the prevailing ideology leads to the creation of an alternative ideology, which unites people aiming for a change of their status in society. Challenges are decisive in the development of any movement. The article explores two directions in Russian feminist ideology of the first waves, which determined the development of the first feminist movement.

O.V. Riabov
The Image of the Enemy in Gender Discourse of the Russian Philosophy of History during the First World War.

The article focuses on the intersection of gender and war discourses in producing collective identities through a delineation of the categories "Ours" and "Theirs". The main aim of the article is to investigate how gender was exploited to construct the image of the enemy in the texts of Russian philosophers (including that of Nicolai Berdiaev, Sergei Bulgakov, Vladimir Ern, Semen Frank, Mikhail Menshikov, Vasilii Rozanov, Evgenii Trubetskoi), written in 1914-18. The analysis shows that the gendering was a notable way of representations of Russian-German relations during the Great War. It was used to be a weapon in the war propaganda as well as mode of "doing gender": the definitions of 'genuine Russian manhood' pursued the establishment of a hierarchy of masculinities, to mark 'hegemonic' and 'subordinated' masculinities. Different types of discourse attributed different gender characteristics to the categories 'Ours' and 'Theirs': besides the 'traditional' feminisation of the Enemy and the emphasis on 'our' own manhood, one can see the 'auto-feminization' of Russia and Russianness against the background of masculinization of Germany and Germanness.

C. Kelly
"I want to be a Tractor Driver": Gender and Childhood in Early Soviet Russia

The first three decades of the twentieth century saw the appearance in Russia, under the direct influence of Western theories and practices, of a hygienic ethos of child-rearing. This new ethos was accompanied by the development of a new version of the ideal child as assertive and emotionally independent, which in turn gave greater prominence to male children than to female ones. The handling of both boys and girls was supposed to orient itself towards a new cult of manliness, known as zakal. Before the Revolution, the new style of child-rearing had relatively limited impact. After the Revolution, 'modern' practices in child-rearing received the official endorsement of the state, and 'boyish' behaviour and attitudes in children were disseminated in institutionalized child-care of all kinds, from kindergartens to orphanages to schools. From the mid-1930s, however, the rise of the myth of 'happy childhood' brought with it a quite different view of the ideal child, who was now supposed to be a docile and grateful subject of Soviet power. The emphasis on passive obedience in children in turn made the female child, especially in the age range 6-10, the preferred subject of propaganda, and a frequent heroine in children's literature, albeit at the price of rigid and narrow gender stereotyping like that of the adult Socialist Realism of the day, where women were generally cast as nurturers and helpmates.

A.A. Salnikova
Transformation of Russian Girl's Ideals and Life Values during the First Decade after the October Revolution

world full of dreams and expectations of the New Time and the New State to come. The main focus is on the correlation of the girls' inner life, their ideals, norms, values and styles of behaviour on the one hand with the ones offered and dictated by Soviet power on the other hand. An analysis of texts produced by these girls allows to reveal their attitude towards the revolutionary changes in Russia, both in relation to existing and to appearing canons and practices. The author comes to the conclusion that, although Russian girls saw their world changing greatly under Bolshevik rule (including its ideals and heroes, spheres of reading, playing, manner of dressing, etc.), they managed to keep their sense of self.
Individual fates and life-stories of the "1920-s girls" may be taken as a unique example of the emergence of what could be called "sovietness'" in Russia.

E. Zdravomyslova and A. Temkina
Soviet Etacratic Gender Order

The article addresses the conceptualisation of the Soviet gender order. It starts with a survey of the theoretical tools used to describe the social organisation of sexual difference. The authors follow the recent approach of Robert Connell who attempts to conceptualise gender configuration in the terms of P.Bourdieu and A Giddens, who tried to bridge conceptualisations of structure and actions using the categories of structuration and strategies. Further in the article the authors discuss the nature of the Soviet gender order and call it etatist or etacratic. They claim the Communist party state was the dominant actor in Soviet gender construction, defining sexual difference in terms of citizenship obligations. Soviet power discourse differentiated citizenship along sexual lines, labelling the difference between men and women as the consequence of their reproductive functions and political and cultural development. The party state positioned women as a gender category whose civic duties were to reproduce and enlarge the nation as well as to contribute to the national economy by taking up paid employment. Women were also seen as less politically conscious, enslaved by the patriarchal traditions of the pre-Soviet past.
The construct of the working mother was state sponsored and ideologically legitimated throughout Soviet history. Though the state structured life trajectories, men and women successfully developed their life strategies using available resources. These gendered strategies were the strategies of the oppressed - the everyday strategies of people who were not able to openly express their will and follow a self-determined life path. The specific feature of submissive strategies is their hidden nature, their submergence in everyday routine and hence their little articulate character. The authors of the article illustrate this theoretical framework in a short overview of the development of the Soviet gender order: from the early Bolshevik period through the stabilization of the etatist gender construct of the working mother and up to the crisis of the Soviet gender order in the late Soviet period.

V. Shapovalova
Women's Labour Camps Memoirs: Camp as a Way of Life

For more than 70 years labor camps and prisons were an integral part of Soviet reality, an inescapable fact of life. Women's memoirs, letters, and interviews reconstruct the world of the GULAG as experienced by women. The memoirs and letters provide a rich portrait of how women led everyday life in prison and in the camps, the strategies of accommodation and resistance they employed, and the challenges they faced. The article analyses the social/historical and literary content of the narrations of a broad cross section of female prisoners. Although the factual accuracy of women's narrations is often not beyond doubt, it is the personal perceptions that are most revealing to readers who are interested in the point of view and scope of vision of individual narrators and in the human meaning of women's experience of the GULAG. Maternity, sexuality, sexual victimization, childbirth, and care of children are of special importance in the women's narrations, just as they are relevant to women of all times. Women's stories are not limited to these themes only- they reflect on politics, morals, and thus help to understand the social, cultural, and ideological processes that took place not only inside the GULAG but also in Soviet society at large.

E.R. Iarskaia-Smirnova and G.G. Karpova
Women's Cult in State Ideology: International Women's Day in Russian Printed Media, 1920-2001

The article considers the gender aspects of Soviet social policy by means of a content-analysis of newspaper issues devoted to International Women's Day. The discursive codes of women's roles and Women's Day are studied in relation to the specificity of gender politics through the dynamics of social change. Transformation of the women's image is analyzed in a sample of national and local newspapers as an illustration of the development of soviet gender politics since 1920 up to 2001. Such an analysis of the dynamics of the image of the 8th of March in Soviet and post-Soviet newspapers demonstrates the changes in the priorities of social policy in relation to women, although the Soviet ideological values have always been in correspondence with the patriarchal ones. The discourse of International Women's Day is politicised during first decade of Soviet power, during industrialisation and war, and is embodied in public official celebrities. Since the 1950s, a symbolic privatisation of the political is taking place; the official ideology of women's roles shifts from the public to the private domain. The contemporary repertoire of representations of International women's day is marked by a growing emphasis on mass consumption and a "patriarchal renaissance" in gender relations. In the economic structure of today's Russia International Women's Day becomes on the one hand an object of consumption, but remains on the other hand an instrument of regulation of social relations and a channel for the advancement of political interests.