Venue: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres, Nussdorfer Strasse 64, 4th floor
Lecturer: Dr. Alice Szczepanikova
Title: When Gender Order Comes under Post-Communist Strain: Chechen Refugee Women in Europe
The presentation will address different strategies of reconstruction of life in exile with the focus on two generations of women from Chechnya living in Europe. Why does the younger generation of Chechen women, now in their 20s and early 30s, seem to be less successful in finding a place in the public sphere of receiving European societies and, perhaps surprisingly, adopts more conservative gender practices than the older generation of women in their 40s and 50s? What are the major issues Chechen women in Europe are grappling with? And what do their experiences reveal about a more general question of women’s relations to patriarchal social norms that structure their lives? The explanations provided draw on biographical interviews with Chechen women living in Austria, Germany and Poland. The analysis situates their present situation in the context of women’s narratives of pre-war and pre-migration life in Soviet Checheno-Ingushetia. It will particularly focus on contradictory impacts of Soviet policies of modernisation.
Alice Szczepanikova is Alexander von Humboldt Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for the Analysis of Society and Politics at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. She obtained her PhD in sociology at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. Her research focuses on forced migration, gender and conflict in Central Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Her work has been published in Europe-Asia Studies, Gender, Place & Culture or the Journal of Refugee Studies.