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Rural Women in the Soviet Union and Post-Soviet Russia

by: Liubov Denisova
translated by:
Irina Mukhina
published by
: Routledge
pp: 226

Book's frontpage

This is the first full-length history of Russian peasant women in the 20th century in English. Filling a significant gap in the literature on rural studies and gender studies of the twentieth century Russia, it is the first to take the story into the twenty-first century. It offers a comprehensive overview of regulations concerning rural women: their employment patterns; marriages, divorces and family life; issues with health and raising children. Rural lives in the Soviet Union were often dramatically different from the common narrative of the Soviet history, and even during the Khrushchev "Thaw" in the late 1950s and early 1960s, rural women were excluded from its reforms and liberating policies.

The author, Luibov Denisova - a leading expert in the field of rural gender history in Russia - includes material from previously unavailable or unpublished collections and archives; interviews; sociological research and oral traditions. Overall, the book is a history of all rural women, from ordinary farm girls to agrarian professionals to prostitutes and paints a unique picture of rural women’s life in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia.


Table of contents

PART I - Employment patterns among rural women
1. Unskilled labor in the countryside
2. Female mechanics and machines operators
3. Women at the animal wards
4. Women as collective farm leaders and agricultural specialists
5. Rural intelligentsia
6. Migration to cities and the position of newcomers PART II. Private Life
7. The politics of private life: the evolution and transformation of the Soviet Family Code 8. Marriages
9. Conflicts and divorces
10. Domostroi
11. Alcoholism in the countryside
12. The female face of the criminal world 13. Women of the oldest profession
14. Religion
15. Triple-burden lifestyle
16. Household chores
17. The special environment of the village life
18. Protection of childhood and motherhood in the countryside
19. Abortions

About the author

Liubov Denisova is Professor of History at the Russian State University of Oil and Gas.


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