Gender (Plays) in Tanjung Bara Mining Camp in Eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia

Citation:

Lahiri-Dutt, Kuntala. 2013. “Gender (Plays) in Tanjung Bara Mining Camp in Eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography 20 (8): 979–98. doi:10.1080/0966369X.2012.737770.

Author: Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

Abstract:

All mining settlements are heavily gendered, not only because of the masculinity that the industry cultivates and flaunts, but also as a result of the power of capital manifested in the gendered class stratification of labour and space. When global capital penetrates remote resource peripheries in poorer countries, it also ushers mining experts, who are usually expatriate men from older industrialised and/or richer nations, into these areas. The cauldron of race–gender–class within the relatively small geographical space of the mining camp is worth exploring through a postcolonial feminist geographical perspective. This article explores the articulation and enactments of race–gender–class within such a location, the Tanjung Bara mining camp in eastern Kalimantan, Indonesia, where economic opportunities offered by the mining boom have blurred the insider–outsider dichotomy by attracting migrants from across Indonesia as well as from overseas. It analyses the performances of differential power enjoyed by women and men, foreigners and Indonesians within multiple sites in Tanjung Bara. In particular, it illuminates the sites of social interactions: the dining hall, the tennis ground, the golf course, the swimming pool and the poolside bar. The article suggests that place, and how each place is accessed by different actors, is central in shaping how individuals perform gender within mining contexts. But, at the same time it complicates the place-based binary performances of race by exploring how individuals continuously rewrite the strict but unwritten codes of behaviour.

Keywords: gender in mining, racial boundary maintenance, performing gender, feminist fieldwork, Indonesia and mining

Topics: Class, Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Extractive Industries, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Gendered Power Relations, Race Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia

Year: 2013

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