Women, processing industries and the environment : a sociological analysis of women fish and crab processing workers' local ecological knowledge

Power, Nicole Gerarda (1997) Women, processing industries and the environment : a sociological analysis of women fish and crab processing workers' local ecological knowledge. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Resource shortages and ecological degradation have drawn attention to management systems, and the scientific knowledge on which they are based, that have failed to provide sustainable ecosystems. In the case of Newfoundland, fisheries collapses have stimulated discussions on the value and potential of the ecological knowledge of local peoples in terms of successful resource management. Until recently, Newfoundland women have been left out of this literature on local ecological knowledge. In this thesis, I explore the local ecological knowledge of women fish and crab processing workers. I work through the standpoint of women, as processing workers, mothers, and wives, in search of clues to understanding what is necessary for sustainable fisheries and sustainable communities in rural Newfoundland. Because women's work and roles in their communities and families are different from men's, their knowledge about the fishery may be different from men's. -- Fish and crab processing workers experienced tensions in their work as a consequence of such ecological changes as resource shortages and changes in the size and texture of fish in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s. Processing work is mediated by technologies, ownership, and managerial strategies that cure beyond the control of those employed at the plant, but help to shape workers' relationships with nature and limit sustainable practices. Women's labour process differs from men's because of the sexual division of labour in households and in fish processing plants. Their knowledge reflects their experiences in the processing plants, in the household and community. I argue that women acquire extensive knowledge about the fishery through their work, but also through their home and family lives. Working through the standpoint of women and their local ecological knowledge indicates that women are knowledgeable about fish quality, nutrition, capitalism and patriarchy in terms of resource declines. If these types of information have a gender-dimension, they would reflect the division of labour in the home and processing plants.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1438
Item ID: 1438
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 214-221
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Sociology
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Women fish trade workers--Newfoundland and Labrador; Sustainable fisheries--Newfoundland and Labrador; Fishery management--Newfoundland and Labrador

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