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Gender relations in tourism in the Russian arctic: representations and practices
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8134-5999
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4919-4462
2014 (English)In: Conferences at Copenhagen Business School, 23rd Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research: Value of Tourism for Destination, Copenhagen, 2014Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Remote territories of the Russian Arctic have historically been subject to conquest and exploration and depicted as a periphery for resource extraction and male adventures. Tourism has recently been introduced as an alternative source of income for indigenous groups that previously lived solely on reindeer herding. However, the tourism sector is still very small and under-developed in the area despite public policies and different national and regional projects to promote tourism. This study analyses how tourism operations in Northwestern Russia use representations of the Arctic and of gender identities in the production and promotion of tourism experiences. The representation and practices of nature- and indigenous tourism operations studied through participant observations made during field trips to the territories of Nenets Autonomous Okrug. The observations complemented with tourism stakeholders’ interviews and content analysis of promotional material from the tourism businesses in the area. The purpose of the study is to get an understanding of the content and meaning of representations and practices of tourism in the Russian Arctic.

We analyse the cultural constructions of places shaped by gendered representations of people and indigenous culture. In what ways are indigenous men and women depicted and what types of place identities are constructed through representations and practices in tourism operations?  We follow Roy (1997) and Edensor (2000) allowing the hosts to speak and become agents in the portrayal of the contemporary tourist practices accommodating the demands of modern tourists. We find that there is a strict gender division of tasks and responsibilities within tourism in the case study area. Service operations in villages and in this region predominantly employ women (hotels, restaurants, shops, and so on); however, out in the tundra, men predominate in high status service functions such as guides within hunting and fishing trips. The results show that the promotion and tourism offers in the area strengthening the notion of (re)production of colonial representations and experiences of the place and its peoples as exotic and the “Other”. The marketing of the area stresses the possibilities to explore unspoilt and remote areas (“snowscapes”). The tourism practices in the Russian Arctic are focused on physical endurance and masculine coded activities and behaviour. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Copenhagen, 2014.
Keyword [en]
indigenous tourism, Gender relations, Russian Arctic, Nenets Autonomous okrug
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Complex Systems – Microdata Analysis, Representation av urbefolkning i turism. Fallstudier från rennäringsområden i norra Sverige och nordvästra Ryssland.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-16398OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-16398DiVA: diva2:763772
Conference
23rd Nordic Symposium on Tourism and Hospitality Research, Copenhagen, Denmark, October 1-4 2014
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2016-12-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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  • vancouver
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Language
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