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Soviet Union (former)

Anchors, Habitus, and Practices Besieged by War: Women and Gender in the Blockade of Leningrad


Hass, Jeffrey K. 2017. “Anchors, Habitus, and Practices Besieged by War: Women and Gender in the Blockade of Leningrad.” Sociological Forum32(2): 253-76.

Author: Jeffrey K. Hass


As war challenges survival and social relations, how do actors alter and adapt dispositions and practices? To explore this question, I investigate women's perceptions of normal relations, practices, status, and gendered self in an intense situation of wartime survival, the Blockade of Leningrad (1941–1944), an 872-day ordeal that demographically feminized the city. Using Blockade diaries for data on everyday life, perceptions, and practices, I show how women's gendered skills and habits of breadseeking and caregiving (finding scarce resources and providing aid) were key to survival and helped elevate their sense of status. Yet this did not entice rethinking “gender.” To explore status elevation and gender entrenchment, I build on Bourdieu's theory of habitus and fields to develop anchors: field entities with valence around which actors orient identities and practices. Anchors provide support for preexisting habitus and practices, and filter perceptions from new positions vis-à-vis fields and concrete relations. Essentialist identities and practices were reinforced through two processes involving anchors. New status was linked to “women's work” that aided survival of anchors (close others, but also factories and the city), reinforcing acceptance of gender positions. Women perceived that challenging gender relations and statuses could risk well-being of anchors, reconstructing gender essentialism.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations Regions: Asia, Europe Countries: Soviet Union (former)

Year: 2017

Scorched by the Fire of War: Masculinity, War Wounds, and Disability in Soviet Visual Culture, 1941-65


McCallum, Claire E. 2015. “Scorched by the Fire of War: Masculinity, War Wounds, and Disability in Soviet Visual Culture, 1941-65.” The Slavonic and East European Review 93 (2): 251-85.

Author: Claire E. McCallum


Drawing on images reproduced in both professional and popular publications, this article charts the changing representation of the war-damaged man in Soviet visual culture from the outbreak of war in 1941 until the reinstatement of Victory Day as a public holiday in 1965. Through such images it is shown that art followed a very different trajectory than literature or film when it came to dealing with such problematic aspects of the war experience, a disjunction that is attributed to the inherent nature of the various cultural genres. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the most dramatic shift in the depiction of the damaged man came — not in the Thaw as we might expect — but in the mid 1960s as part of a wider reassessment of the War and its legacy in Soviet visual culture.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Health, Mental Health, Trauma, Military Forces & Armed Groups Regions: Asia, Europe Countries: Soviet Union (former)

Year: 2015

Resolution 1325 and Post-Cold War Feminist Politics


Harrington, Carol. 2011. “Resolution 1325 and Post-Cold War Feminist Politics.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 13 (4): 557–75. doi:10.1080/14616742.2011.611662.

Author: Carol Harrington


Social movement scholars credit feminist transnational advocacy networks with putting violence against women on the United Nations (UN) security agenda, as evidenced by Resolution 1325 and numerous other UN Security Council statements on gender, peace and security. Such accounts neglect the significance of superpower politics for shaping the aims of women's bureaucracies and non-governmental organizations in the UN system. This article highlights how the fall of the Soviet Union transformed the delineation of ‘women's issues’ at the UN and calls attention to the extent that the new focus upon ‘violence against women’ has been shaped by post-Cold War US global policing practices. Resolution 1325's call for gender mainstreaming of peacekeeping operations reflects the tension between feminist advocates’ increased influence in security discourse and continuing reports of peacekeeper perpetrated sexual violence, abuse and exploitation.

Keywords: Cold War, transnational advocacy networks, new wars, democratization, peacekeeping, human rights, feminism, violence against women, United Nations

Topics: Armed Conflict, "New Wars", Democracy / Democratization, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis, Gender-Based Violence, Gender Mainstreaming, International Organizations, NGOs, Peacekeeping, Rights, Human Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325, Sexual Violence, SV against Women Regions: Asia, Europe Countries: Soviet Union (former)

Year: 2011

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