Maternity and modernity: Soviet women teachers and the contradictions of Stalinism.


This article explores how Soviet political identities were shaped by maternal concerns and how mothers' practices were shaped by the professional obligations of teaching in the Stalinist 1930s. Exploring an occupation that became more female as it became more modern, a professional identity that denied or constrained female sexuality, a calling devoted to children that left little time for motherhood, and a social role that assigned the task of socialization to women who did not enjoy full civic rights, this study examines the ways that Stalinist mother teachers assumed a distinct identity through their practices at school and in the family. Identifying specific moments where these questions became public focuses attention on maternity and modernity in ways that illustrate how fully Stalinist repression penetrated into society and how the Soviet people perceived, accepted, challenged, or otherwise mediated the contradictory nature of these political forces.

Cite this paper

@article{Ewing2010MaternityAM, title={Maternity and modernity: Soviet women teachers and the contradictions of Stalinism.}, author={E Thomas Ewing}, journal={Women's history review}, year={2010}, volume={19 3}, pages={451-77} }