Based on propaganda, archival sources, and interviews, this article argues that under conditions of extreme material hardship, traditional Russian culture and Soviet values united to place unrealistic expectations on women who bore the brunt of post-World War II production and reproduction goals. As women faced the conflicting responsibilities of rebuilding the economy and repopulating the Soviet Union, the press bombarded them with images of women who successfully fulfilled all the demands placed upon them. In the absence of adequate support facilities, economic reality shaped women's lives more profoundly than state demands, and most women attempted to balance their duties by privileging domestic concerns over professional advancement, limiting family size, and developing strategies to deal with the difficulties of postwar life.


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pp. 137-159
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