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Exploring narratives of women in fishing families to understand their identities and emotional geographies

Authors: Madeleine Gustavsson*, University of Exeter
Topics: Women, Coastal and Marine, Rural Geography
Keywords: fishing; marine; identities; narratives; emotional geographies
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Whilst the academic and policy attention to women in fisheries has increased in recent years, little research has sought to understand the identities and lived experiences of women in “their own right”. The current paper takes inspiration from work on feminist rural geographies in moving beyond comparing women’s agency, power and identities in relation to that of men towards understanding how women’s multifarious identities and subject positions are associated with intersecting parenting, work, leisure and community, amongst other, positions which shape and are shaped by women’s lived experiences in fishing families. The paper draws on an ongoing research project and recent interviews with women in small boat fishing families in the UK as well as Newfoundland in Canada. In doing so, women’s identities and relations to the fishery as well as their emotional geographies tied to place, materialities and social relations are explored. Further, women’s various positions, roles and places within the fishing industry are examined to shed light on diversity of lived experiences amongst the group of women in small boat fishing families.

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