Embodied citizenship: women's emancipation in communist Romania
Time frame: 2015 - ongoing
Project director: Petruța Teampău
Our research aims to asses, at a general level, the congruence between the principles, norms and ideological guidelines expressed and enforced by communist propaganda and mass media and the way in which they were internalized and lived out by women, as embodied and gendered experience. We see this relation between propaganda and women as bidirectional, assuming that individuals are never just the passive recipients of ideological requirements, but they do negotiate, weigh, evaluate, reject or resist some of these. How they manage to do that can be considered through a detailed investigation of their subjective assessment of their position, through in depth narrative interviews. The assumption is that women have their own description of their lives under communism, that should not be necessarily read, as it has been so far, through the ideological lens of Western feminism (“the triple burden” of women’s duties: domestic chores, job and child-rearing). Inquiring into these narratives can help us understand the impact of ideological pressure, how women conceived their civic status and made sense of their embodied citizenship and possibly identify unexplored sources of female empowerment.