Animal Husbandry and House Wifery? : Gender and Suburban Household Food Production in Perth and Melbourne, 1890-1950

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Abstract

Places play an essential role in the construction and maintenance of gender identities, as sources of imagery and settings for activities that give meaning to masculinity and femininity. Between 1890 and 1950, suburban food production was an important site for the discursive production and reproduction of gender identities in Australian suburbs. It allowed men to 'perform' a dominant masculinity tied to independence, productive physical labour and the breadwinner role. As dominant constructions of ideal femininity situated women as consumers and 'dependent' wives and mothers, women's relationship with food production was more ambivalent. These stories of suburban food production illuminate the operation of gendered power relations in suburban places, and complicate interpretations of residential suburbs as feminised sites of consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-254
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Volume36
Issue number124
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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