Date Approved

4-14-2015

Date Posted

7-22-2015

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

History and Philosophy

Abstract

My work provides a background to gender equality in the Soviet Union from its inception, the nascent Lenin era, the autocratic Stalin era and it culminates with a focus on the Khrushchev regime. My work demonstrates that although the Khrushchev era sought to ameliorate women's double burden of work and domestic care, significant gains, in the form of economic independence and gender parity, were never achieved. My research reveals that the Khrushchev era, in an attempt to peacefully compete with the West, condoned traditional gender norms and encouraged feminine aestheticism. My research illustrates how the Post-Stalin era, which became more visible to the world, turned women into a barometer of the Cold War balance of power. Throughout my thesis, a theoretical question of the integrity of the Soviet Union's relationship with Socialism is raised as discrepancies in the Soviet implementation of the Socialist principles of gender equality, and equal access to material goods, are revealed.

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