New articles online – EHNE Encyclopedia

New articles about “Gender and Europe”  are now online on the EHNE encyclopedia :

Founded on emancipatory albeit androcentric thought, the communist regimes established in Eastern Europe in fact opened women’s way towards activism, political positions and paid employment. In doing so, they nevertheless also perpetuated pre-existing gender relations by limiting the role of women or by marginalizing certain sectors. They even produced their own traditionalist discourses and policies focused on the family, which nevertheless gradually began to erode during the 1970s. Still, these regimes enabled the development of a kind of “feminism without feminists,” one that was less visible because more widespread, thanks to the leeway available to women to defend their occasional demands.

The word sexology is attested in English from the 1860s but took on its modern meaning as the science of sexuality only in the 1900s, initially in German (Sexualwissenschaft) and Dutch (seksuologie), and later in French, Spanish (sexología), and Italian (sessuologia). This interdisciplinary science drew on numerous medical specializations, the humanities and social sciences, and activist movements. It seeks to understand human sexuality and its development by distinguishing the “normal” from the pathological, and also deals with questions linked to reproduction and sexual health. A number of phases can be distinguished. The last third of the nineteenth century was that of “sexual psychopathology.” In the wake of sexual reform and eugenics, sexology underwent a new turning point during the interwar period. The discipline reinvented itself under American influence after the Second World War and entered into a handful of universities.

The history of vocational education remains a little-explored component of the history of European societies, not only due to its more complex structures as compared to “general” education, but also to the less prestigious social status ascribed to it. Even less well known is the role played by girls and women within various national systems, as though their occupational training was not a concern. Yet from the last third of the nineteenth century, the vocational education of women began to be discussed, and developed modestly alongside largely male educational opportunities.. Beyond the mosaic of national situations, two primary dynamics bear mentioning. The first relates to the movement of women’s emancipation enabled by access to vocational education, and thereby to the skilled labour market. The second is connected, in the context of societies highly impacted by the two Industrial Revolutions, to how training courses helped structure a labour market highly segmented by gender.


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