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Mapping Difference

Mapping Difference: The Many Faces of Women in Contemporary Ukraine

Edited by Marian J. Rubchak
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: NED - New edition, 1
Published by: Berghahn Books
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Mapping Difference
    Book Description:

    Drawn from various disciplines and a broad spectrum of research interests, these essays reflect on the challenging issues confronting women in Ukraine today. The contributors are an interdisciplinary, transnational group of scholars from gender studies, feminist theory, history, anthropology, sociology, women's studies, and literature. Among the issues they address are: the impact of migration, education, early socialization of gender roles, the role of the media in perpetuating and shaping negative stereotypes, the gendered nature of language, women and the media, literature by women, and local appropriation of gender and feminist theory. Each author offers a fresh and unique perspective on the current process of survival strategies and postcommunist identity reconstruction among Ukrainian women in their current climate of patriarchalism.

    eISBN: 978-0-85745-119-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-vii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. viii-viii)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. ix-xi)
    Catherine Wanner

    The collection of essays that you are about to read represents a unique and unprecedented effort to bring together the views of Ukrainian and North American scholars on issues relating to gender and gender politics in Ukraine today. At this pivotal juncture of the country’s transformation, the issue of gender and gender parity looms large, and the stakes for the women involved are enormous. And yet gender remains a terribly unexplored topic and therefore, in those rare instances when it is taken into consideration, it is often misunderstood or misappropriated. This volume aims to shore up this lacuna in our...

  6. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xii-xiv)
  7. CHAPTER 1 Turning Oppression into Opportunity: An Introduction
    (pp. 1-22)
    Marian J. Rubchak

    In their introductory chapter toLiving Gender under Communism, Janet Johnson and Jean Robinson note that the Soviet era had witnessed gender, which was “simultaneously promoted in the rhetoric on motherhood and denied in the rhetoric on the ‘woman question’ and women’s equality” (2007).¹ There are parallels to be drawn here between Soviet discourse and that of today’s Ukraine. Much of the latter’s rhetoric on women projects the image of an empoweredberehynia(guardian) as progenitor, custodian of family values, and national identity,² whereas women’s true equality remains contested.

    Notwithstanding such correlations between then and now, significant differences also remain...

  8. CHAPTER 2 Between “Europe” and “Africa”: Building the New Ukraine on the Shoulders of Migrant Women
    (pp. 23-46)
    Cinzia Solari

    No one knows how many Ukrainians are working in Italy.¹Forum, a Rome-based newspaper published in Ukrainian and Russian argues for two million. The bishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church in Rome proposes that 500,000 is a more realistic number based on attendance at church events. The head of the Italo-Ukrainian Christian Association suggests over one million. What is certain is that every Sunday between 8 am and noon, five thousand Ukrainians pass through a large parking lot behind Rome’s Garbatella metro station. The metro’s main exit brings you out to a neighborhood with small shops and apartment buildings....

  9. CHAPTER 3 Women as Migrants on the Margins of the European Union
    (pp. 47-64)
    Alexandra Hrycak

    The breakup of the Soviet Union was followed by dramatic waves of migration (Shamshur and Malinovska 1994).¹ One of the waves has brought hundreds of thousands of women from Ukraine to work in the European Union, most of whom find themselves doubly marginalized as workers. First, they are illegal, unauthorized or undocumented workers—that is, they do not have permission from the state to work. Typically, they arrive on tourist visas and overstay. They are consequently subject to arrest and deportation if state authorities discover them. Second, nearly all labor migrants are employed in the informal economy. As informal workers,...

  10. CHAPTER 4 Prove It to Me: The Life of a Jewish Social Activist in Ukraine
    (pp. 65-88)
    Sarah D. Phillips

    I first met Faina Iakivna Neiman in September 1999, when I was conducting research in Kyiv for my dissertation in cultural anthropology on women leaders of nongovernmental organizations in post-Soviet Ukraine.¹ Over the next six years, I developed a deep friendship with Faina, a role model for whom I feel a great deal of affection and respect. I conducted a series of life history interviews with her between 1999 and 2005, always in the office of her organization, “For Survival.” Without fail, I came away from our conversations inspired by Faina’s work ethic, boundless energy, sense of humor, self-confidence, openness,...

  11. CHAPTER 5 Biography as Political Geography: Patriotism in Ukrainian Women’s Life Stories
    (pp. 89-108)
    Oksana Kis’

    The history of Ukraine in the twentieth century abounds in events that have altered the country’s political, social, and economic landscapes, yet the part that Ukrainian women played in that history during the past hundred years is only marginally visible. The gender dimension of that entire epoch is especially important; it represents an era when Ukrainian women obtained broad rights and opportunities for self-realization in their public lives, a transformation that changed both the women and the public space. For all that, women’s lives remained virtually unseen in the historical records.¹ This is a serious lapse in our study of...

  12. CHAPTER 6 Chronicle of Children’s Holidays: Construction of Gender Stereotypes in Ukrainian Preschools and Elementary Education
    (pp. 109-124)
    Victoria Haydenko

    Gender typing can be explored from different angles: psychological, sociological, cultural, educational, and philosophical. The objective of this study is to show how the gender marker is embedded into education by means of children’s holidays; how preschool and elementary school curricula influence its development/distortion and contribute to the construction of gender stereotypes. Three common issues are essential for understanding the formation of such stereotypes—gender-oriented games, mother, and father as role models—to bring together all the scripts. My research indicates that the feminization of primary education, a clear differentiation between masculine and feminine roles, and the predominance of maternal...

  13. CHAPTER 7 Gender, Language Attitudes, and Language Status in Ukraine in the 1990s
    (pp. 125-144)
    Laada Bilaniuk

    In the mid-1990s, when I mentioned to a Ukrainian colleague my plan to study gender as a factor shaping language use, he wrote me that most other linguists in Ukraine would see this research question as “something exotic, American gimmicks, or the contrivances of oversatiated imperialists.” Nevertheless, in recent years interest in gender studies has begun to grow in Ukraine (e.g., see Petrenko, Isaiev, and Petrenko 1999; Aheieva and Oksamytna 2001; Zhurzhenko 2001; andFeminnist’ ta maskulinnist’(Feminism and Masculinity) 2003).¹

    Transformations in discourses and practices of gender and language have played a major role in the changes underway in...

  14. CHAPTER 8 Feminizing Journalism in Ukraine: Changing the Paradigm
    (pp. 145-160)
    Mariia Tytarenko

    The history of mass journalism goes back to the eighteenth century, at which time it was a strictly male domain. Women began to appear in print only in the nineteenth century (many of them under male pseudonyms, such as George Sand, George Eliot, and Marko Vovchok in Ukraine). In an article entitled “Na skloni viku,” Ivan Franko, a prominent Ukrainian writer and journalist, offered an overview of the state of human emancipation in various spheres during the nineteenth century, in the form of a conversation among three individuals. One of them, a woman named Eufrosinia, is cast as a judicious...

  15. CHAPTER 9 Feminism, Nationalism, and Women’s Literary Discourse in Post-Soviet Ukraine
    (pp. 161-172)
    Maria G. Rewakowicz

    Feminism as a phenomenon has acquired multiple significations over the years, and while it cannot be dismissed as a sociopolitical movement for women’s liberation worldwide, in the past two decades the term itself has gone well beyond the original quest for equal rights and legal reforms addressing discrimination against women. In the west, the views of feminist activists in the 1960s and 1970s yielded a number of theoretical positions on patriarchy, sexuality, gender, female subjectivity, sexual difference, and identity, to mention just a few. Rosi Braidotti went so far as to declare that “feminism is shaping up as the one...

  16. CHAPTER 10 Feminist (De)Constructions of Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space
    (pp. 173-192)
    Tatiana Zhurzhenko

    Feminism and gender are no longer exotic concepts in contemporary Ukraine. Universities now offer courses on gender issues, an array of conferences has already taken place, dissertations are being defended, articles and books are being published. Gender and Women’s Studies centers have been established; some are more than ten years old, most notably those in Kyiv, Kharkiv, L’viv and Odessa. Their activities and publications are analyzed in this article. It is not my goal to contribute to the current discussions of whether feminism exists in the post-Soviet context, nor if the use of a Western term such asgenderis...

  17. CHAPTER 11 Three Conversations: The Search for Gender Justice
    (pp. 193-210)
    Liudmyla Taran, Larysa Kobel’ians’ka, Svitlana Oksamytna and Yulia Tymoshenko

    Liudmyla Taran—acclaimed poetess, literary critic, journalist, essayist, and committed feminist since early childhood—places herself in the ranks of a tiny minority of feminists in today’s Ukraine. To promote her cause and compile material for a book, she interviewed a cross-section of ten women and two men for their views on gender construction. I have chosen to report on a sample from this group of three “Conversations,” as she names them, to illustrate further the many faces of women in Ukraine. I also wish to end this volume on a hopeful note. The success stories of Taran’s respondents in...

  18. Notes on Contributors
    (pp. 211-214)
  19. Index
    (pp. 215-223)