Women at the Gates: Gender and Industry in Stalin's Russia

Women at the Gates: Gender and Industry in Stalin's Russia

by Wendy Z. Goldman
     
 

In the annals of industrialization, the Soviet experience is unique in its whirlwind rapidity. The vast transformations that shook western Europe over the centuries - proletarianization, industrialization, urbanization - were in the Soviet Union telescoped into a mere decade. The working class grew at an unprecedented rate, changing in size and social composition.… See more details below

Overview

In the annals of industrialization, the Soviet experience is unique in its whirlwind rapidity. The vast transformations that shook western Europe over the centuries - proletarianization, industrialization, urbanization - were in the Soviet Union telescoped into a mere decade. The working class grew at an unprecedented rate, changing in size and social composition. Even more striking was the critical role of women: in no country of the world did they come to constitute such a significant part of the working class in so short a time. As women flooded industries traditionally dominated by men, they undercut strict hierarchies within the factories and forced male workers to reexamine their ideas about skill, "masculine" and "feminine" work, and the role of women in the workplace. The state's use of female labor was closely intertwined with the great upheavals of early Soviet history: accumulation of capital for the industrialization drive, the urban food crisis, collectivization, and peasant migration to the cities. Based on new Russian archival materials, Women at the Gates is the first social history of Soviet women workers in the 1930s. It is the story of a world remade, from above and from below, as planners "regendered" the entire economy and women entered the ranks of waged labor in unprecedented numbers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521780643
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
02/25/2002
Pages:
314
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.98(d)
Lexile:
1440L (what's this?)

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Introduction1
1Guarding the Gates to the Working Class: Women in Industry, 1917-19295
2The Struggle over Working-Class Feminism33
3The Gates Come Tumbling Down70
4From Exclusion to Recruitment109
5"The Five-Year Plan for Women": Planning Above, Counterplanning Below143
6Planning and Chaos: The Struggle for Control179
7Gender Relations in Industry: Voices from the Point of Production207
8Rebuilding the Gates to the Working Class234
Conclusion278
Index287

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