Miglena S. TodorovaOct 24, 2022
Unequal under Socialism
Race, Women, and Transnationalism in Bulgaria
University of Toronto Press 2021
Unequal under Socialism: Race, Women, and Transnationalism in Bulgaria (U Toronto Press, 2021) examines the formation of racial, gender, and national identities and relations in the socialist state. With a specific focus on Bulgaria, a former socialist country in the Balkans, the book traces the intertwined local and global forces driving racialization, socialist state policies, and Eurocentric Marxist and Leninist ideologies, all of which led to valued and devalued categories of women. Roma women, Muslim women, ethnic Bulgarian women, sex workers, and female factory and office workers were among those marked by socialist authorities for prosperity, accommodation, violent reformation, or erasure.
Covering the period from the 1930s to the present and drawing upon original archival sources as well as a constellation of critical theories, Unequal under Socialism focuses on the lives of different women to articulate deep doubt about the capacity of socialism to sustain societies where all women prosper. Such doubt, the book suggests, is an under-recognized but important force shaping how women in former socialist countries have related to one another and to other women in the global North and South.
Jill Massino is a scholar of modern Eastern Europe with a focus on Romania, gender, and everyday life.