During a set of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, in the summer of 2003, “C,” “E,” “O,” “M,” and “L” discuss how the transition to a democratic system and a market economy have impacted politics, the economy, and women’s professional and everyday lives. Their reflections offer insights into the varied ways that women have been affected by, and perceive….
In this oral history interview conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “E” discusses traveling under Socialism. She notes that, despite the fact that the country was led by an uneducated dictator, people—that is working people—always received a two week, state-subsidized vacation. Since this benefit is no longer guaranteed by the State, a number of women felt this….
During a series of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “S” and “M” discuss the various strategies they used to procure food and concoct meals for their families during the period of rationing in the 1980s. Meanwhile “E” offers insight into Romanian hospitality, stressing that even in the midst of mass shortages, women managed to lay out….
During a set of oral history interviews conducted in Braşov, Romania, during the summer of 2003, “F” and “R” talk about rearing children under Socialism. For “F” it was a mixed-blessing, since she adored her infant son, yet had to do so under less than optimal conditions. While for “F,” caring for her son was a chore as a result of the manifold shortages in the 1980s, for….
In this collection of oral histories, “V” and “L” reflect on marital relations under socialism. According to “V,” men’s upbringing in the family played a fundamental role in shaping their attitudes toward wives. Thus it would seem that socialist policy and propaganda that promoted equality between women and men had little effect on men’s attitudes toward women—though they….
In this collection of oral histories from Romania, subjects “R,” “I,” “M,” “E,” and “N” talk about their experiences of work during the socialist period. Although “R” and “M” worked in male-dominated fields and faced harassment by their male colleagues, “M” was able to overcome these difficulties by playing the role of the oddball woman. Meanwhile, “I”….
In Bulgaria, the Communist Party led the movement toward democratic change. Following the legalization of several other political parties, the Bulgarian Communist Party (BCP) introduced legal reforms to the Bulgarian government. One of the most significant and notable of these changes was rewriting Article 1 of the Bulgarian constitution, which guaranteed a "leading role" for the Communist….
In the spring and summer of 1989, Chinese protestors occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing in order to achieve some political concessions from the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev continued to follow along their path of political reforms with glasnost' (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). In September 1989, Prime….
Soviet propaganda posters presented positive images of healthy, active people engaged in useful service to the state, including women. In this poster from 1974, three women, with their hair covered with a traditional kerchief, are depicted alongside a clear slogan: "Soviet Women! Be the first in line for the national struggle to successfully fulfill the Five-Year Plan in four years!" Since the….