Gendering Postsocialism: Old Legacies and New Hierarchies
Gendering Postsocialism explores changes in gendered norms and expectations in Eastern Europe and Eurasia after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The dismantlement of state socialism in these regions triggered monumental shifts in their economic landscape, the involvement of their welfare states in social citizenship and, crucially, their established gender norms and relations, all contributing to the formation of the post-socialist citizen. Case studies examine a wide range of issues across 15 countries of the post-soviet era. These include gender aspects of the developments in education in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Hungary, controversies around abortion legislation in Poland, migrant women and housing as a gendered problem in Russia, challenges facing women’s NGOs in Bosnia, and identity formation of unemployed men in Lithuania. This close analysis reveals how different variations of neoliberal ideology, centred around the notion of the self-reliant and self-determining individual, have strongly influenced post-socialist gender identities, whilst simultaneously showing significant trends for a "re-traditionalising" of gender norms and expectations. This volume suggests that despite integration with global political and free market systems, the post-socialist gendered subject combines strategies from the past with those from contemporary ideologies to navigate new multifaceted injustices around gender in Eastern Europe and Eurasia.
This chapter focuses on the analysis of post-Soviet films and TV series dedicated to the medical profession, and it explores how the perception of gender and the representation of work practices among this professional group have changed in recent decades. The new cinematographic images are considered to be a result of Western cultural impact (after 1991) and Soviet cultural legacies. The 2000s witnessed the return of the special attention to “doctors” and “medical professionals” as the heroes of post-socialist drama and melodrama. However, these images are often misogynistic, and it is possible to say that cinematographic metaphors reflect developments in social attitudes.