Gender and Power Relations in Everyday Life in Enterprises in the GDR in the 1970s and 1980s

Associated PhD project

How did gender and sexuality shape everyday interactions in the workplace in enterprises in a state propagating equal rights between women and men? Even though the one-party state of the GDR took action in many ways to promote gender equality – especially in employment but also on some moral questions – gender-specific incidents such as insults, positive and negative discrimination, and sexual violence were part of the daily experience of women. In my PhD project, I want to shed light on the discrepancies between ideology and social practice. How did people perceive gender-specific interactions? Which practices were considered adequate, which inadequate? The PhD project focuses on enterprises as workplaces, as these, for GDR citizens, were the most important areas of life, not only for rewarding work but for reproductive and social work and relations. My thesis will not only incorporate extensive research in archives and contemporary records, but also collect primary sources of everyday life experiences in the GDR, inlcuding interviews with people involved.

Henrike Voigtländer

Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

Email: voigtlaender [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung

Gender and Power Relations in Everyday Life in Enterprises in the GDR in the 1970s and 1980s

Associated PhD project

How did gender and sexuality shape everyday interactions in the workplace in enterprises in a state propagating equal rights between women and men? Even though the one-party state of the GDR took action in many ways to promote gender equality – especially in employment but also on some moral questions – gender-specific incidents such as insults, positive and negative discrimination, and sexual violence were part of the daily experience of women. In my PhD project, I want to shed light on the discrepancies between ideology and social practice. How did people perceive gender-specific interactions? Which practices were considered adequate, which inadequate? The PhD project focuses on enterprises as workplaces, as these, for GDR citizens, were the most important areas of life, not only for rewarding work but for reproductive and social work and relations. My thesis will not only incorporate extensive research in archives and contemporary records, but also collect primary sources of everyday life experiences in the GDR, inlcuding interviews with people involved.

Henrike Voigtländer

Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History
Am Neuen Markt 1
14467 Potsdam

Email: voigtlaender [at] zzf-potsdam.de

Forschung