Date of Award

12-16-2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History

First Advisor

Hugh Hudson

Second Advisor

Denise Davidson

Abstract

This study investigates changes in an early Soviet women’s magazine’s representations of class and gender to shed light on how the image of the new Soviet woman came into being. As the only non-party women’s magazine of the late 1920s, Zhenskii Zhurnal (1926-1930), better than any other publication, reveals the state-imposed process of transforming female identity. Zhenskii Zhurnal started out as the publication for housewives, but by the end of the decade it was forced to avoid emphasizing traditional female roles and concerns related to private life and the domestic sphere. Achievement of production goals – the new priority for all Soviet citizens – became central to narratives on the proper meaning of femininity. In order to transform a woman into an arduous worker, her female priorities needed to be reconfigured and her devotion to the traditional interests of her sex had to be minimized.

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