Gendered Responsibilities for War and Peace: Strategies of Political, Socio-Economic and Psychological Reconstruction in Post-War Germany

Citation:

Zwingel, Susanne. 2004. “Gendered Responsibilities for War and Peace: Strategies of Political, Socio-Economic and Psychological Reconstruction in Post-War Germany.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, September 2-5.

Author: Susanne Zwingel

Abstract:

This paper combines a feminist view on the gendered dynamics fostering and preventing warfare with the experiences of Germans at the end and in the aftermath of World War II. It focusses on the years of 1945 to 1948, as they can be seen as the years or disintegration of the old system and re-emergence of two new post war orders. Both the symbolic construction of gender ideologies and the impact of these constructs on daily life are discussed. The main argument is that the both Nazi Germany and post-war Germany were shaped by different forms of gendered militarization: racist hyper-masculine ware-fare was replaced by the predominantly female face of post-war suffering which lead to a gendered strategy of exculpation by part of many Germans; attempts to establish a more gender equal social order were partly successful, but ultimately absorbed by new forms of militarization as embodied in the block confrontation of the cold war.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization, Peace Processes Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2004

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