Sociologický časopis
Czech sociological review

VYDÁVÁ SOCIOLOGICKÝ ÚSTAV AV ČR, v.v.i.

← Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 6/2015

Martin Hájek, Barbara H. Vann:
Gendered Biographies: The Czech State-Socialist Gender Order in Oral History Interviews [1077]

Hájek, Martin, Barbara H. Vann. 2015. „Gendered Biographies: The Czech State-Socialist Gender Order in Oral History Interviews.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 51 (6): 1077-1104, https://doi.org/10.13060/00380288.2015.51.6.229

A large collection of autobiographical life story material available in oral-history data is used to examine how women and men of different socio-political groups (workers, intelligentsia, dissidents, and communist functionaries) narrate their lives in the time of state-socialist Czechoslovakia. Of particular interest is what these narratives imply for an understanding of the state-socialist gender order. The analysis combines quantitative (the frequency of word co-occurrences) and qualitative (a hermeneutic reading of text fragments) approaches. The results provide evidence that empirically supports what has previously been suggested in the literature: there was an interdependence of private and public spheres, with the family sphere differing in importance for women and men. Additionally, the discursive density and arrangement of these spheres in the life stories differs according to sociopolitical groups, and a third sphere, which we have labelled ‘politics’, emerges for some groups. The findings reveal insights into the relationship between the gender order and the life course through a narrative articulation of life stories of different social groups in Czech state-socialist society.

Keywords: life-course narratives, oral history, gender order, Czech Republic, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis, socio-political groups

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