Irena Reszke’s book was originally supposed to contain data collected in the 1980s, covering income differences between men and women. However, in the Polish People’s Republic, a scientific work describing how old salaries for women and men could not be published.
It is possible that she was the first Polish author whose work, when cataloged, was tagged with the keyword “genre”. His book Social prestige and gender from 1984 was published in English with this very controversial word on the right, i.e. as Social prestige and gender. I’m talking about the sociologist Irena Reszka.
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Irena Reszke died on April 11. She was 92 years old. In the People’s Republic of Poland, she was a forerunner of research on the social and professional position of women. For Polish gender research, Reszke is an extremely important figure. Although it is less known, apart from a small group of specialists.
Her research career took place at a time when interest in the study of women’s work was becoming obsolete and she was dealing with inequality, an uncomfortable subject in all eras.
In 1991, his book was published Gender inequalities in theorieswhich turned out to be pioneering work on gender inequalities already transforming Poland. This book was originally intended to contain data collected in the 1980s on the gender pay gap. However, in the Polish People’s Republic, a scientific work describing how old wages of female and male workers could not be published, so the author decided to publish a deep and expanded theoretical part of the thesis for the next college degree. . Thus, the subtitle included “Theoretical Explanation of Gender Inequality in Labor”.
I will be strong in our common faith, comrade
To date, this book provides the most comprehensive and extensive coverage of theories relating to gender inequality in the labor market. In 1991, we only learned the term “labour market”. We learned from Irena Reszke that her researchers describe the mechanisms that generate gender inequalities at the same time as we experience them the hard way. In 1991, the term “feminism” not being used freely in scientific works, the author decided to call one of the chapters “pro-feminist theories”.
In 1995, her article on female unemployment was published in the groundbreaking and fundamental volume for sociological research on gender. What does it mean to be a woman in Poland edited by Anna Titkow and Andrzej Domański.
The beginning of the transformation brought us not only new inequalities in the labor market, but also a redefinition of gender roles, masculinity and femininity. Irena Reszke described the newly created stereotype in 1995 businesswoman, despite all the neo-liberal cult of success at the time – definitely negative.
Science has had the privilege of deciding what is right with nature
She was also the first to draw attention to the paradox of another new stereotype, the unemployed woman. Although the content of this stereotype seems definitely positive, especially when compared to the stereotype of the unemployed, the opposite of which a woman will cope well with unemployment, kiss children, make cans and rather not break up, the consequence of its spread in public opinion has proven to be the dismissal of women first, as those for whom unemployment will be less severe. In addition to the description of stereotypes, Irena Reszke offered a comprehensive theoretical discussion of stereotypes – which was extremely important for developing gender studies in which gender stereotypes played a key role.
Sociology and sociologists dealing with gender inequalities in the early years of the transformation initially focused on unemployment. The next step was to approach the theme of poverty, first as a direct consequence of unemployment, but it soon became clear that women’s poverty is the result of the feminization of poverty, a set of factors social and gender inequality in all areas and in all areas. dimensions. Article by Irena Reszke Determinants of the feminization of poverty published in “Kultura i Society” in 2001 gave new directions to research on poverty.
With Magdalena Rek-Woźniak, we decided to refer to this text by developing a chapter devoted to the UNDP report Gender equality policy in 2008 and the slogan feminization of poverty (poverty) released in 2015 Gender Encyclopedia.
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For women gender specialists in the 1990s, Irena Reszke was an authority, a teacher and sometimes a mentor. She was an unattainable role model for gender inequality sociologists of the 1990s. Her relatively early retirement and the arrival of a new generation of scholars sidelined her, and her work today is not not widely known and quoted as often as they deserve.