Date of Award


Document Type


Primary Advisor

Neal Coates

Secondary Advisor

Ronald Morgan

Committee Reader

Tracy Shilcutt


After German reunification, the East German people were incorporated into the Western world and their old way of life under the Stalinist influence of the USSR was replaced by a capitalist open market, a democratic government, and an emphasis on individual freedoms. As the GDR was left in the past, the citizens of former East Germany—particularly East German women—had to adapt to a new way of life with cultures, values, and expectations unfamiliar to them. However, it is presumptuous to believe that their adaptation to West Germany meant forgetting their own past. In light of this, this paper is focused on the central question of how having lived in the GDR continues to influence women in their every-day culture and self-identity. To answer this question, I interviewed a selection of six women, aged 54 - 90 years old, who have lived their entire lives in Saxony and invited them to share how the GDR’s cultural norms and expectations continue to affect their personal and professional lives.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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