The social construction of femininities in a rural New Zealand community
Gill, Erica Jane
In considering gender and sexuality in rural geography, the focus has frequently been women in the family farm unit, masculinity as a rural gender identity, and homosexual and lesbian experiences of rural space. Little research has considered the creation of rural femininities within rural communities and the heteronormativity of rural space. This dissertation explores the construction of feminine identities in a rural South Otago community. It draws on feminist and poststructural perspectives recognising identities as diverse and socially constructed. Rurality, as a discursive construct that helps to create women's identities and experiences, is considered, in association with the construction of femininities through discourse and performance. Data was collected using one-on-one interviews, focus group discussions and field observations. An analysis of the data led to three key femininities, and two overlays that influence the femininities, being documented. These are discussed in relation to how they are constructed, reinforced, and negotiated, through discourse and performance. Spatial variations in performance of identities are considered, as well as discursive constructs that continue to create space as gendered, reinforcing hegemonic femininity.
Advisor: Panelli, Ruth
Degree Name: Postgraduate Diploma of Arts
Degree Discipline: Geography
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Dissertation
v, 90 leaves ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 85-90). "June 2007"