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Femininity (Con)scripted: Female Images in Soviet Wartime Poster Propaganda, 1941–1945

Femininity (Con)scripted: Female Images in Soviet Wartime Poster Propaganda, 1941–1945 During the Second World War, legions of Soviet women behind the lines participated in war-time production in both industry and agriculture. Soviet propaganda, despite the overwhelming numbers, contributions and sacrifices of women, graphically portrayed them in ways that both re-established the pre-war patriarchal gender relations of the Stalinist era and circumscribed women’s wartime experiences. This article examines how, during the initial and la er years of the conflict, and in the important and understudied source of Soviet poster propaganda, the symbolic configuration and reconfiguration of femininity and the female image was transmi ed through shi ing official policies and a itudes on the role of women. While early posters portrayed women’s wartime participation as atypical, temporary and unwomanly, propaganda by the end of the war featured hyper-feminised representations of women while the Soviet state moved to reassert political controls and institutionalise conservative gender policies to serve the needs of war and reconstruction. KEYWORDS: Women and war, iconography, posters, gender, femininity, Soviet Union, Second World War With the advent of the Great Patriotic War (the war on the Eastern Front, 1941–1945), the political iconography of women, like so much in Soviet society, changed. The forms altered in significant ways http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aspasia Berghahn Books

Femininity (Con)scripted: Female Images in Soviet Wartime Poster Propaganda, 1941–1945

Aspasia , Volume 4 (1) – Mar 1, 2010

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Publisher
Berghahn Books
Copyright
© 2022 Berghahn Books
ISSN
1933-2882
eISSN
1933-2890
DOI
10.3167/asp.2010.040107
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

During the Second World War, legions of Soviet women behind the lines participated in war-time production in both industry and agriculture. Soviet propaganda, despite the overwhelming numbers, contributions and sacrifices of women, graphically portrayed them in ways that both re-established the pre-war patriarchal gender relations of the Stalinist era and circumscribed women’s wartime experiences. This article examines how, during the initial and la er years of the conflict, and in the important and understudied source of Soviet poster propaganda, the symbolic configuration and reconfiguration of femininity and the female image was transmi ed through shi ing official policies and a itudes on the role of women. While early posters portrayed women’s wartime participation as atypical, temporary and unwomanly, propaganda by the end of the war featured hyper-feminised representations of women while the Soviet state moved to reassert political controls and institutionalise conservative gender policies to serve the needs of war and reconstruction. KEYWORDS: Women and war, iconography, posters, gender, femininity, Soviet Union, Second World War With the advent of the Great Patriotic War (the war on the Eastern Front, 1941–1945), the political iconography of women, like so much in Soviet society, changed. The forms altered in significant ways

Journal

AspasiaBerghahn Books

Published: Mar 1, 2010

Keywords: femininity; gender; iconography; posters; Second World War; Soviet Union; women and war; World War II

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