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Title: Social transformation and personal transition : experiences of women entrepreneurs in Leipzig.
Author: Beutel, Monika
ISNI:       0000 0001 3462 7715
Awarding Body: City University, London
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2008
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The transformation to a capitalist market society and the unification of East and West Germany in 1990 created immense economic and social changes in East Germany (the former German Democratic Republic). Economic restructuring led to massive unemployment which in turn caused social dislocations including changes in the gender division of labour. Previously East German women had identified with their dual roles as both workers and mothers but market reforms combined with the extension of the Federal Republic of Germany's (West Germany's) legal and welfare regimes to East Germany profoundly affected women's work and employment opportunities. This study documents the main changes to gender relations that took place as a result of economic and institutional changes in East Germany and goes on to investigate in detail one set of responses, by looking at a small sample of women in Leipzig who chose selfemployment (or entrepreneurship) as a vehicle for reconstructing their identities in a way that both maintains what they value about their former real-socialist identities, and also firmly embraces what they value about the new market society - autonomy, control and choice. Most of the women took up self-employment out of necessity, against the backdrop of local employment conditions at the time. The research also examines some of the challenges that these women faced in starting their own businesses, and the role of family and other networks. East German women have been characterised as losers from unification; the move to self-employment was a means of limiting such loss and of preserving their identities as 'qualified workers' while adapting to the new market society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available