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Cooking in tourism and at home: Unpacking the contours of different gender orders in Moreomaoto, Botswana

Claudia Towne Hirtenfelder orcid id ; The Africa Institute of South Africa, Human Sciences Research Council and The School of Tourism and Hospitality, The University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 763 Kb

str. 431-444

preuzimanja: 328



Cooking is an ancient human activity which has long been characterised through deep social expectations which are often gendered. However, in tourism where food represents one of the key attractions, the scholarship has not given enough attention to investigating how cooking involves hierarchical gendered power relations. This paper reports on fieldwork research conducted in Moreomaoto Village, Botswana. It was found that while cooking is undertaken in both Meno A Kwena, an ecotourism camp, and the homes in its neighbouring village, Moreomaoto, the discourses used to justify who does the work are similarly gendered. Namely, it is considered normal for women to cook, whether at the camp or at home, as it is what they have always done. Women capitalize on the idea that cooking at camp and at home is the same as a means of gaining access to employment opportunities. Men, however, are increasingly moving into cooking jobs at Meno A Kwena, despite them not cooking at home unless they 'have to' or 'feel like it'. This movement has been normalised as men are discursively constructed as capable cooks. As long as their cooking is taking place outside of the home and framed as different to that which is undertaken within the home, men are able to maintain the existing gender order. In a context that is increasingly characterised by environmental and financial fragility, being able to illustrate this type of adaptability means that men have been better able than women to diversify the tourism employment opportunities available to them.

Ključne riječi

cooking; discourse; gender; tourism; Botswana

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