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Decker, Anja (2019): The Ambiguous Experience of Motherhood in the Western Bohemian Countryside: Exploring Rural Gender Inequalities Through the Framework of Precarity. In: Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 59, No. 3: pp. 517-539

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Perspectives from Central and Eastern Europe rarely find their way into the debate on rural gender inequality. In this article, I aim to mitigate this imbalance by exploring everyday arrangements of women with dependent children in a peripheralised rural region of the Czech Republic. Using an expanded framework of precarity that integrates different spheres of work, I demonstrate that in the spatial context studied, motherhood increases the social disadvantage women face while simultaneously constituting an important field of female agency. I further show that in order to identify room for manoeuvre within configurations of insecurity the whole life-situation of women must be taken into consideration. My findings add to a nuanced and context-sensitive understanding of gender inequality in the European countryside, in particular by highlighting the field-specific interaction of low-wage economy, gendered division of work and mobility, and concepts of rural childhood, good (grand)parenting and self-sufficiency. The study draws upon semi-structured interviews and ethnographic research.

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