Intersection of Gender and Class in Socio-historical and Biographical Perspectives

By Alena Krizkova, Lenka Formánková and Marta Vohlídalová.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review

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This paper investigates how structural changes in Czech society brought about by the transition from the centrally planned state-socialist regime towards market-based capitalism, which impacts individual opportunities and choices. The intersectional approach and concept of social capital allows us to interpret employment trajectories of women in the Czech Republic in its historical as well as biographical contexts. This paper addresses the underdevelopment of intersectional analysis of the dynamically changing women’s position in post-socialist societies of Central and Eastern Europe. Eva is representative of women with low education, and by analyzing her biography, we interpret the changing intersection of class and gender in post-socialist Czech society. The state-socialist experiment with women’s emancipation solely through their participation in paid work has failed and ever since women’s emancipation or gender equality has never been a political priority. The turn to capitalism after 1989 intensified re-traditionalization trends, making it difficult to combine work and care. Not only did Eva deal in her working strategies with the deterioration of the status of low-educated women in changing class relations in post-socialist society although she remained childless, she also encountered maternity discrimination and the relative impossibility to combine paid work with care (for a family member).

Keywords: Intersectionality, Gender, Class, Care, State- socialism, Post-socialism, Labor Market, Czech Republic

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: Annual Review, Volume 8, pp.1-11. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 345.142KB).

Alena Krizkova

Senior Researcher, Head of Gender & Sociology Department, Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic

Alena Křížková is a senior researcher and a head of Gender & Sociology Department at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Her research focus on the economic independence of women, gender wage gap, gender in organizations, management and entrepreneurship, women and citizenship, gender and social inclusion, gender in care and family policies. She is the author of a monograph Life Strategies of Women and Men in the management and/of Entrepreneurship (2007, in Czech), she is the co-author of Management of Gender Relations, Position of Women and Men in Organization (2004, in Czech) and Working Paths of Women in the Czech Republic (2011, in Czech) and a co-editor of Work and Care: Changes to “Parental Leave” in the Czech Republic and the Family Policy Context in the European Union (2008, in Czech with a chapter of European Commissioner Vladimír Špidla), of In Multiple Voices: Negotiating Women's Spaces after 1989 (published in Czech with English abstracts in 2006) and of Sexualized Reality of the Working Relations (published in Czech in 2006). In 2009 she has been awarded the Otto Wichterle premium for outstanding young researchers of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Lenka Formánková

Junior Researcher, Gender & Sociology Department, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

Lenka Formánková is a junior researcher at the Gender & Sociology Department at the Institute of Sociology of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She is also a Ph.D. candidate at the Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University in Brno. In her research, she focuses on work-life reconciliation policies on company, state and EU level, gender in labour market relations, international comparative policy research, gender aspects of economic crisis and new forms of partnership. She published scientific articles in Czech and international peer-reviewed journals (Journal of Contemporary European Studies, Sociální studia, Gender, rovné příležitosti, výzkum, Sociológia) and co-authored a book Working paths of women in the Czech Republic (Prague, Slon, 2011). She also participated in the book Value of work: Interdisciplinary perspective (Oxford, Inter-disciplinary Press, 2012). She is teaching courses on family and labour market policies, gender relations and employment at the Masaryk University in Brno and at University of West Bohemia in Plzeň.

Marta Vohlídalová

Ph.D. Student, Institute of Sociology, Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic

Marta Vohlídalová received her degree in Sociology from the Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, where she is currently finishing her Ph.D. She joined Gender & Sociology department at the Institute of Sociology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 2005. Her work concentrates on gender inequalities on the labour market, family policy, gender aspects of academic careers and sexual harassment in universities. She is the author of Academic duets: on professional and private life in science (2010, in Czech; 2011, in English), editor of Sexual harassment at universities: Analysis, Context, Solutions (2010, in Czech) and the co-author of Work and Care: Changes to “Parental Leave” in the Czech Republic and the Family Policy Context in the European Union (2008, in Czech), Scientists in motion: on academic mobility (2012, in Czech), Uncertain expectations: Changes in the research profession from a gender perspective (In Czech, 2013). She publishes also in scientific journals.