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Body citizenship: Women empowerment in communist Romania

A team of researches led by lect. Dr. Petruța Teampău won a research grant for Young Teams (PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2097, code 1628, ECWEICR) worth 545.595 lei (103.317 eur) from CNCS. The title of the project is: “Body citizenship: Women empowerment in communist Romania”

The team consists of: Res. Dr. Daniela Angi (FSPAC), lect. Dr. Andrada Fătu-Tutoveanu (FSPAC), drd. Sorana Constantinescu (FSPAC), drd. Miruna Pantel (SNSPA).

Our research aim is to analyze, on a general level, the congruence between principles, rules and idelogical recommendations expressed and imposed by the communist propaganda and media and the way they have been internalized and lived by women as gendered and bodily experience. We see this relationship between propaganda and women as a bidirectional relationship, assuming that individuals are not just passive recipients to ideological requirements, but they negotiate, weigh, reject and oppose them. How they manage to do these things can be analyzed through a detailed investigation of the subjective perception of their position, through narrative interviews. Our assumption is that women have their own description of their life under communism, which should not necessarily be read as before, through the ideological lens of western feminism (with focus on the triple burden: housework, work and taking care of children). The analysis of these narratives can help us understand the impact of ideological pressure, the way women designed their own civic status and how they have lived their body citizenship and potentially can help us identify unexplored sources of empowerement in women.