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Providing fun in the 'world of tourism': servicing backpackers in Indonesia
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
2012 (English)In: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, ISSN 0966-369X, E-ISSN 1360-0524, Vol. 19, no 5, 670-685 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Service sector work is a special arena for the formation of gendered subjects because its workers are both service providers and part of the consumed product in the sense that they have to deliver a 'quality' product and have the 'right attitude' toward customers. Based on repeated qualitative fieldwork, including in-depth interviews with tourism workers in a backpacker tourism enclave in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, this article explores the ways in which tourism work and tourism workers are constructed as gendered subjects. Although women and men might have the same work tasks within tourism, they are positioned differently, and it is not unusual for women to be seen as having a hidden agenda that is assumed to involve sex work. Men are constructed as the norm to which women are compared and consequently perceived as deviating from. Between men and women working in tourism and the western backpackers on which tourism workers depend in order to sustain their livelihoods, relations of class, gender and colonial stereotypes come into play. Tourism workers consider themselves to be seen as providers of fun, which means that they are able to meet the needs of the tourists, whatever those needs might be.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 19, no 5, 670-685 p.
Keyword [en]
tourism, service work, gender, host-guest interactions, Indonesia
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-61238DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2011.625083ISI: 000309277300007OAI: diva2:565373
Available from: 2012-11-07 Created: 2012-11-07 Last updated: 2012-11-07Bibliographically approved

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Sörensson, Erika
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Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)
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Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography
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