This book explores one of the most interesting and uncharted developments of our era: the transformation of East German society after the unification of Germany in 1990. State socialism had guaranteed employment for men and women, wages were low, housing cheap, child-care plentiful and child-benefits generous. After its collapse, former certainties turned into unknown competition in the labour market, unemployment, income differentiation and in some cases poverty. Women, single mothers, the unskilled and blue collar workers lost the employment concessions or special status they had enjoyed before and faced unexpected risks of exclusion; others relished the opportunities of occupational mobility and increased income that also arose. In post-communist Germany, family duties and employment which were deemed compatible in the GDR, have begun to conflict, yet women have retained their employment motivation and their family orientation. Arising from a programme of research workshops funded by the Anglo-German Foundation and the ESRC, Social Transformation and the Family examines key areas of post-communist transformation in Germany with special reference to the place and future of the family. The first part of the book discusses family policy agendas, the second looks at income and employment change and the challenges faced by women, the young and older people in post-communist German society.

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