The Discourse of Power through Gender in World War II Latvia

TitleThe Discourse of Power through Gender in World War II Latvia
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLazda, Mara
EditorRöger, Maren, and Ruth Leiserowitz
Book TitleWomen and Men at War: A Gender Perspective on World War II and Its Aftermath in Central and Eastern Europe
CityOsnabrück, Germany

This chapter discusses how occupiers and the occupied used gendered language in the discourse of power and how this influenced collaboration, resistance, and memory in Latvia during the Second World War. Both the Soviet and Nazi powers used the press to recruit collaborators and to construct a new national identity. It was possible to use similar gender constructions for different purposes: Latvian authors, for example, used Nazi family ideology both to promote Latvian family values and to indirectly reinforce Latvian autonomy against Nazi goals of propaganda. The author underlines in conclusion that an analysis of gendered political language and relationships could provide a closer perspective on questions of negotiations of power and resistance.

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