The concepts of gender, citizenship and empire and their reflection in post-Soviet literature

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Although much has been written about the loss and rediscovery of various notions of Russian national identity since the collapse of communism, no scholarly works have hitherto attempted explicitly to link the three concepts of gender, citizenship, and empire in post-Soviet Russia. The aim of this article is therefore to attempt an initial approach to a new subject in relation to post-Soviet Russian culture. The first part will define my use of the terms “gender,” “citizenship,” and “empire,” in order to explain my underlying assumptions. It will then discuss some of the theoretical and methodological problems they engender in relation to contemporary Russian society and culture. The second part will present a brief analysis of how these issues have been treated in post-Soviet literature by both men and women, particularly in writings of the twenty-first century. The main focus will be on prose fiction and publitsistika (social and political journalism) by Russian writers, but reference will also be made to particularly important films, television series, and discussions in the media where they are relevant to the argument. The article will attempt to demonstrate that whereas the dominant discourses in contemporary Russian culture and the media are patriarchal and nationalistic, a few women writers in post-Soviet Russia have had some success in challenging the traditional “symbolic order” in their culture in relation to women, gender and nation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-211
JournalThe Russian Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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