The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty
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The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty

Concepts, Research, Policy

Edited by Sylvia Chant

In the interests of contextualising (and nuancing) the multiple interrelations between gender and poverty, Sylvia Chant has gathered writings on diverse aspects of the subject from a range of disciplinary and professional perspectives, achieving extensive thematic as well as geographical coverage. This benchmark volume presents women’s and men’s experiences of gendered poverty with respect to a vast spectrum of intersecting issues including local to global economic transformations, family, age, ‘race’, migration, assets, paid and unpaid work, health, sexuality, human rights, and conflict and violence.
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Chapter 42: Gender, Occupation, Loss and Dislocation: A Latvian Perspective

Linda McDowell


Linda McDowell One of the typical consequences of transnational migration is downward social mobility, sometimes temporary but often permanent. Moving between countries for work, to escape tyranny or natural disaster, or because of war or occupation, disrupts everyday life and necessitates the reconstruction of social relations in another place: an everyday life often haunted by what might have been and memories of trauma and dislocation. In this chapter, I explore an extreme version of such disruption for a group of adolescent girls and young women born in Latvia, one of the three Baltic States, in the interwar period which was a time of relative prosperity for the then newly independent country. Relative economic prosperity, rising expectations and an expanding educational system were associated with growing independence for middle class girls. This era came to an abrupt end at the start of the Second World War. Latvia was invaded and occupied, first by the Soviet Army, then by the Third Reich and, on Germany’s imminent defeat in 1944, again by the Soviet Army. Under the Yalta agreement, Latvia became a Soviet Socialist Republic in 1945. Here I explore the implications for young women of living under the two foreign occupations, assessing the effects of occupation on the typical transitions experienced by young women as they grow up and move from the dependence of childhood to the independence of adulthood. The case study is based on interviews with by then elderly Latvian women undertaken in 2001–2002. These women left Latvia in...

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