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De-Stalinisation Reconsidered

bohn.inddMy chapter ‘Contesting Inequality: Khrushchev and the Revival of the “Woman Question”’ has recently been published in a volume on essays edited by colleagues in Germany: Thomas M. Bohn, Rayk Einax and Michel Abeβer (eds), De-Stalinisation Reconsidered: Persistence and Change in the Soviet Union. The book is the outcome of an international conference organised by the editors at the University of Gieβen in February 2012. The book sets out to examine, challenge and dissolve some of the contradictions and dichotomies posed in the study of the Soviet modernisation project under Khrushchev in particular light of his emphasis on ‘de-Stalinisation’.

My chapter draws on research I’ve conducted on the Khrushchev period in three different areas: the changes to women’s economic, social and political roles and status under Khrushchev, the impact of the revival of the women’s councils from 1957, and Soviet women’s engagement with the Women’s International Democratic Federation during this crucial period in the Cold War. I conclude that ‘whilst it is evident that the Khrushchev era can be credited with re-invigorating the “woman question” at home and abroad, it is also clear that this question was by no means resolved’.


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