The Newsletter 66 Winter 2013

Gendered labor in 'Paradise': tourism as an engine of change in Bali

Anette Fagertun

A major disciplinary interest of anthropology is how to understand, conceptualize and theorize cultural continuity, change and radical transformation. This effort has been achieved under various rubrics such as ‘post colonialism’, ‘modernity’ or the rise of the ‘global capitalist system’. In this essay, I explore social continuities and change through a discussion of the ways in which labor is gendered in the rapidly growing corporate-led mass-tourism industry of Bali. I position gender as one of the structuring principles of the Balinese labor market and tie it to inventive uses of land as capital in this new economy. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in two fishing villages on Jimbaran Bay in 2003/4 and 2010, I argue that local models of gender, embedded in social relations and organization, impact men and women’s participation in this ‘new world of work’.


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