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14. Losing Manliness: Bohemian Workers and the Experience of the Home Front

Publication Date Jan 1, 2014

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the environment of the Czech lands, which became, epicentre of social and ethnic tensions during 1914-1918 and where the current order was also heavily delegitimized in the autumn of 1918. It focuses on the main factors which influenced the war experience of the Bohemian workers in the Czech lands and which contributed to the deep crisis of their masculine identity. The chapter divides this crisis into three main areas. The first issue is the loss of their prewar status as qualified workers undertaking valued work. The second part devotes to the collapse of the gender order as a consequence of the militarization of workers' bodies and the reformulation of masculinity and femininity. The third focuses on the loss of the possibility to represent workers' interests in the immediate political arena of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which deprived the male workers of their pre-war position as political actors. Keywords: Austro-Hungarian Empire; Bohemian workers; Czech lands; femininity; masculine identity

Concepts

Czech Lands Masculine Identity Pre-war Position Prewar Status Austro-Hungarian Empire Ethnic Tensions Main Areas Political Actors Main Factors Social Tensions

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