Women as Bearers of Modernity and Tradition

  • Melanie KrebsEmail author


This chapter explores how pre-revolutionary and Soviet approaches to modernity continue to dominate the public gender discourse, manifested in notions of appropriate and inappropriate gender behaviour in Baku’s urban spaces. Following the collapse of the USSR, Azerbaijan witnessed a process of urbanization, as men and women relocated from rural areas to larger population centres. Older, established city dwellers often perceive these new arrivals as uncultivated and ‘unable’ to live city life, but with a common gendered bias: in Baku, public discourse depicts these newcomers as male, while female newcomers are almost invisible. This reflects an older idea shared by many Azerbaijanis that their country lies somewhere between ‘East and West’, with women and their public treatment signifying the hybridity of a nation that ‘takes the best of both worlds’, mixing the ‘West’s’ political rights with ‘the East’s’ traditional respect for women.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Humboldt University of BerlinBerlinGermany

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