Accepted Paper:

Asymmetries of gender and generation at a post-Soviet borderland  
Laura Assmuth (University of Eastern Finland)

Paper short abstract:

This paper shows how the intertwined perspectives of gender and generation can shed light on the analysis of borders and life in the borderlands. A case study from the post-Soviet borderlands between Russia, Estonia and Latvia is presented.

Paper long abstract:

This paper aims to show how the intertwined perspectives of gender and generation can shed light empirically on the analysis of borders and life in the borderlands. It does so by presenting an ethnographic case study from an Eastern European area where the state borders are relatively recent outcomes of deep-going political, economic and social changes brought about by the end of state socialism. Our studies at the post-Soviet borderlands between Russia, Estonia and Latvia have focused on everyday practices and ideals connected with the new state border. We have observed local men and women of different generations in their practices of border crossing, cross-border trade and shopping and other transnational activities; and we have asked all these people how the new border affects their lives and what they think of it. How do gender and generation influence people's understandings and experiences of the border? What are the gendered and generation-related border practices like in this particular area? What kinds of asymmetries persist, what kinds of new dividing lines develop between groups of people? And how do the local people's life trajectories relate to the development of and relations between the states in question?

Panel W041
Eastern boundaries, money and gender: exploring shifting locations of identity and difference on the European peripheries