The article explores the cross-section of gender differences and colonial/imperial differences on the example of the Soviet campaign of emancipation of the minority women in the Volga-Ural region during the 1920s and early 1930s. Drawing from Soviet publications and archival documents on the Commission for the Improvement of Work and Everyday Life of Women, the article shows that in spite of its emancipatory potential, the official campaign censored alternative projects of women’s emancipation that had emerged in the region before the Bolshevik revolution. At the same time, the institutionalized campaign for women’s equality privileged female activists on ideological rather than ethnic grounds. However, the existing structure of socialization in reality promoted mainly those of Russian and in general, Slavic background, thus reifying the old colonial disposition.


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pp. 113-144
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