Gender, sexuality, and rurality in the mining industry

Pini, Barbara & Mayes, Robyn (2012) Gender, sexuality, and rurality in the mining industry. In Gorman-Murray, Andrew, Pini, Barbara, & Bryant, Lia (Eds.) Sexuality, Rurality and Geography. Lexington Books, Plymouth, United Kingdom, pp. 187-198.

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Sexuality is a subject that has been, at best, marginal in the significant body of literature that has examined gender and mining in contemporary Western nations. This is despite the fact that academics have circled, if not almost bumped into the topic in closely related discussions of hegemonic masculinity and mining work, and of patriarchal familial relations and mining communities. This scholarship has documented what has been and remains women’s primary relationship to mining—that is, as a “mining wife.” How patriarchal relations are manifest in and emerge from this state of affairs has been critiqued with research on the gendered implications of housing arrangements in mining towns, the division of household labor, changing shift-work mining rosters, and the gendered consequences of strikes and mine closures (Williams 1981; Gibson 1992; Gibson-Graham 1996; Rhodes 2005; McDonald, Mayes, and Pini 2012). Despite the centrality of the heterosexual relationship—and indeed heteronormativity—to these discussions, scholars of gender and mining have had little to say on the subject of sexuality. In response to this lacuna, this chapter takes an exploratory lens to the subject of sexuality and the mining industry. We approach the task from the perspective that the mining industry is gendered as masculine. That is, definitions of mining mobilize around masculinized notions of physicality, technical competence with machinery, and strength, as well as emphasize the harshness and dirtiness of the work (Mayes and Pini 2010).

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ID Code: 71883
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Gender, Sexuality, Rural, Mining
ISBN: 9780739169377
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Deposited On: 21 May 2014 22:20
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2016 15:10

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