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Women in the Fishing: The Roots of Power between the Sexes

  • Paul Thompson (a1)
Extract

Fishing is commoniy thought of as a man's business. Yet fishing has a special interest for understanding the position of women, both past and present. There is a double reason for this: for the masculine image of the industry conceals the reality of an occupation which, by removing men to sea, makes them peculiarly dependent on the work of women ashore. And this dependence gives women not only more responsibility, but also the possibility of more power, both in the home and in the community. My concern here is therefore with the sexual division both of labour and of power. Of the two issues, the second is considerably more complicated. For while the character of women's work in fishing communities has again and again taken parallel forms in different societies, this is much less true of its consequences for the social position of women.

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