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"On war and home front:" Portrayals of Soviet women in America written media from World War II into the early Cold War
Kornfeld, EveShapovalov, Veronica
This thesis explores the intersection of gender, war, and politics through American media perceptions and portrayals of Soviet Women from 1939 to 1955. During World War II, the Soviet Union and United States were allies against the Axis powers. At this time, the New York Times reported on stories of Soviet women who participated in the war effort not only from the home, but in labor intensive jobs and in the military. The Soviet mobilizationof women into labor and military positions were characterized as masculine by American gender ideals, therefore requiring a reimaging of Soviet women that allowed for a wartime alliance but also established the “otherness” of Soviet society. As allies united in war, news media celebrated the war efforts of Soviet women while creating a clear distinction between American and Soviet society and culture. In the late 1940s, political relations between the two nations quickly deteriorated following the end of the war in 1945. Along with changes in political relations, the expectation on American gender roles also shifted. The wartime image of Rosie the Riveter gave way to the conservative ideal of women as home makers. The changes in American perceptions of appropriate gender roles influenced the portrayals of Soviet women in thenews. American news coverage of Soviet women and their position within the war and post-war Soviet society reflected this shift in U.S.-Soviet relations. As political tensions grew, portrayals of Soviet women switched from one of heroism and patritosim to one of victimhood within the communist system.
Arts and Letters
San Diego State University
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2019
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