1. Three Generations of Women in Central Europe
1. Abridged and summarized from my interview with Mrs. F. (Mária) in 1994 for
this project. Names and a few minor details have been modified to guarantee
anonymity (Thanks to Erika Varsányi for research assistance.) The interviews
were conducted in the summers and winters of 1992 through 1998 in Austria
and Hungary. I used snowball sampling, looking in both countries for man-
agers in various positions and mostly in the age group over forty-five years
old. The interviews took about two hours each and most were taped and
transcribed. I asked each respondent about their family backgrounds, career
paths, current marital and family circumstances, and their experiences of and
opinions about gender discrimination. Overall, I conducted thirty-three inter-
views (nineteen in Hungary and fourteen in Austria).
Note that all translations in this volume are mine unless otherwise
2. Retirement age for women at the time was fifty-five years in Hungary (sixty
years for men).
3. Its name before 1956 was Magyar Dolgozók Pártja (Hungarian Workers’ Party)
and after 1956 it was Magyar Szocialista Munkáspárt (Hungarian Social-
ist Workers’ Party). All through this book I refer to both as the Hungarian
communist party, (or simply, the communist party) a name that indicates
the party’s long-term ambitions and historical and ideological legacy rather
than the reality of its practice. I chose this terminology for its brevity and
4. In younger Austrian generations the rate of college attendance became
roughly equal among men and women by the late 1990s (Gross, Weidenhofer,
and Vötsch 1994, 29), but gender differences in the educational attainment
level of the overall working population linger.
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