Buckley, Mary (Elizabeth Anne) 1951-
BUCKLEY, Mary (Elizabeth Anne) 1951-
Born June 26, 1951, in London, England; daughter of Stanley James and Barbara Eileen (Novarraz) Buckley. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: Leicester University, England, B.A., 1972; London University, M.Sc., 1974; Vanderbilt University, Ph.D., 1981. Religion: Protestant.
Agent—c/o Author Mail, Routledge Press, 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE, England.
Social scientist and author. Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland, lecturer, 1983-91, senior lecturer, 1991-94, reader in politics, 1994-2000; University of London, London, England, professor of politics, 2000-02. Visiting fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities, Cambridge University, 2004.
(Editor) Soviet Social Scientists Talking: An Official Debate about Women, Macmillan (Houndmills, England), 1986.
(Editor, with Malcom Anderson) Women, Equality, and Europe, Macmillan (London, England), 1988.
Redefining Russian Society and Polity, Westview Press (Boulder, CO), 1993.
(Coeditor, with Sally N. Cummings) Kosovo: Perceptions of War and Its Aftermath, Continuum (New York, NY), 2001.
(Editor, with Rick Fawn) Global Responses to Terrorism: 9/11, the War in Afghanistan, and Beyond, Routledge (New York, NY), 2003.
Also contributor to numerous academic journals, including the Journal of Communist Studies and Transition Politics, Social History, and European Society.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Stalin's Fields, a study of Soviet rural policy under Stalin; The Bush Doctrine—Global Responses, Global Consequences, a collection of essays.
A long-time Sovietologist with a particular interest in the lives of Russian women, Mary Buckley has produced a number of studies of how communist leaders treated the "woman question" in both theory and practice. She has also published books describing the impact of perestroika and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union on ordinary men and women in Russia and the breakaway republics.
In Soviet Social Scientists Talking: An Official Debate about Women, Buckley interviews Soviet sociologists, economists, lawyers, and other professionals, both male and female, to discuss the realities of Soviet women's lives in the workforce, at home, and in politics. The participants were kept anonymous and were identified only by first name and profession, to the disappointment of Russian Review contributor Rose Glickman, who felt that "if one does not know something about the interviewees—like age, institutional affiliation, scholarly interests, and marital status—evaluating the significance of their opinions is difficult indeed." Nevertheless, these voices from the late 1970s and early 1980s do provide an interesting window into late Soviet-era assumptions about women, which turn out to be very traditional. Both the men and the women concur that child-rearing and domestic chores are primarily the woman's responsibility, and as Katya the economist stated, "The man should be the head of the family."
Buckley takes a longer-range view of the Soviet treatment of women in Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union. "Drawing on a wide range of sources, from personal observation to newspapers, books and dissertations, Mary Buckley dispassionately discusses Soviet theory and practice about women from the October Revolution in 1917 to the Gorbachev era," reported Rochelle Ruthchild in the Women's Review of Books. The first part of the book covers the heyday of the Zhenotdel, the Women's Section of the Communist Party. This section was abolished in 1930 by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who declared the "woman question" solved. The second half of the book picks up in 1956, when the post-Stalin thaw again allowed Soviet commentators to discuss and debate the proper role of women in society. For American Historical Review contributor Barbara Evans Clements, "Buckley is at her strongest when dealing with the later years. She employs a wide range of primary sources, including her own interviews with Soviet women, and her analysis is illuminating."
Perestroika and Soviet Women covers the early years of the process of the breakup of the Soviet Union and its impact on women. As Beatrice Farnsworth explained in the Russian Review, "This excellent collection of essays by Western and Soviet specialists, an important contribution to the history of the Gorbachev era, covers topics from industrial, agricultural and political changes to women's organizations, children's homes, girls in the youth culture and female writers." Once again, the picture that emerges is one of fundamentally traditional roles for women even in the face of dramatic changes in society at large, though some authors note the glimmerings of consciousness-raising in some sectors of society.
Buckley expands her perspective in Redefining Russian Society and Polity, which covers the impact of glasnost and democratization throughout Russian society, and the revolution unleashed by those forces. "Using Russian newspapers, journals, radio and television programs, interviews, and other sources, Buckley persuasively argues that the images and ideas that blossomed during the Gorbachev years led to social and political visions that were incongruent with the prevailing system," explained Johanna Granville in Demokratizatsiya. Instead, as the world knows, the Russian and Eastern European people ultimately decided to do away with the prevailing system altogether. As Buckley's book shows, however, there was no clear consensus on what was wrong and what should replace it, and the book covers the views of monarchists and anarchists as well as more mainstream politicians. "While the book is excellent as a whole," remarked Europe-Asia Studies contributor Charles Rudkin, "the best chapters are those covering media treatment of social issues, and on learning democracy and the analysis of less conventional groups' views on the kind of crisis that existed in the Soviet Union during 1990-91."
Buckley's book Post-Soviet Women: From the Baltic to Central Asia brings together fifteen essays on the ways in which women are coping in the fledgling democracies, and would-be democracies, that have emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet empire. "A number of the essays challenge common assumptions; others reinforce them, but the overall tone is gloomy," maintained Rochelle Ruthchild in the American Journal of Sociology.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Buckley, Mary, editor, Soviet Social Scientists Talking: An Official Debate about Women, Macmillan (Houndmills, England), 1986.
American Historical Review, April, 1991, review of Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union, pp. 568-569.
American Journal of Sociology, May, 1999, review of Post-Soviet Women: From the Baltic to Central Asia, p. 1873.
British Book News, October, 1987, review of Women, Equality, and Europe, p. 689.
Demokratizatsiya, fall, 1999, review of Redefining Russian Society and Polity, p. 616.
Europe-Asia Studies, March, 1996, review of Redefining Russian Society and Polity, p. 347; May, 1998, review of Post-Soviet Women, p. 552.
Historian, summer, 1999, review of Post-Soviet Women, p. 947.
Journal of Economic Literature, March, 1988, review of Soviet Social Scientists Talking: An Official Debate about Women, p. 219.
Journal of Women's History, spring, 1999, review of Post-Soviet Women, p. 230.
Oral History Review, winter, 1996, review of Redefining Russian Society and Polity, p. 125.
Russian Review, January, 1990, review of Soviet Social Scientists Talking, pp. 117-118; January, 1991, review of Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union, pp. 107-108; April, 1994, review of Perestroika and Soviet Women, pp. 317-318.
Slavic Review, winter, 1994, review of Redefining Russian Society and Polity, pp. 1179-1180.
Women's Review of Books, March, 1990, review of Women and Ideology in the Soviet Union, p. 15.
Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities Web site,http://www.crassh.cam.ac.uk/ (June 15, 2004), "Dr. Mary Buckley."*