The Red Riviera (häftad)
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illustrated ed
Duke University Press
16 b&w photos maps
16 b&w photos, 1 map
235 x 155 x 15 mm
340 g
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The Red Riviera (häftad)

The Red Riviera

Gender, Tourism, and Postsocialism on the Black Sea

Häftad Engelska, 2005-11-01
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This compelling ethnography of women working in Bulgaria's popular sea and ski resorts challenges the idea that women have consistently fared worse than men in Eastern Europe's transition from socialism to a market economy. For decades western European tourists have flocked to Bulgaria's beautiful beaches and mountains; tourism is today one of the few successful-and expanding-sectors of the country's economy. Even at the highest levels of management, employment in the tourism industry has long been dominated by women. Kristen Ghodsee explains why this is and how women working in the industry have successfully negotiated their way through Bulgaria's capitalist transformation while the fortunes of most of the population have plummeted. She highlights how, prior to 1989, the communist planners sought to create full employment for all at the same time that they steered women into the service sector. The women given jobs in tourism obtained higher educations, foreign language skills, and experiences working with Westerners, all of which positioned them to take advantage of the institutional changes eventually brought about by privatization.Interspersed throughout The Red Riviera are vivid examinations of the lives of Bulgarian women, including a waitress, a tour operator, a chef, a maid, a receptionist, and a travel agent. Through these women's stories, Ghodsee describes their employment prior to 1989 and after. She considers the postsocialist forces that have shaped the tourist industry over the past fifteen years: the emergence of a new democratic state, the small but increasing interest of foreign investors and transnational corporations, and the proliferation of ngos. Ghodsee suggests that many of the ngos, by insisting that Bulgarian women are necessarily disenfranchised, ignore their significant professional successes.
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"The work is both easy and enjoyable to read. . . . [It] presents an interesting argument and is a valuable contribution to postsocialist literature on Bulgaria and tourism." -- Deema Kaneef * Slavic Review * "Overall The Red Riviera is a very appealing book. Its theoretical position is clearly explained and its use of personal narrative is effective. . . . The book will appeal to those interested in tourism, labor, gender, and postsocialism, and because it is so accessibly written, it will also work well for undergraduate classes." -- Julie Hartley-Moore * American Anthropologist * "Ms. Ghodsee brings a sharp eye to post-Communist change." -- Nina C. Ayoub * Chronicle of Higher Education * "An excellent ethnography.... This well-written, vivid account of women in postsocialist Bulgaria will be compelling for anthropologists and scholars from related disciplines interested in women/gender, tourism, and/or postsocialism as well as feminism, development, and NGOs." -- Christine Suck * Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology * "The Red Riviera is an absorbing, very well-written book which explores the social impact of transition in Bulgaria by focusing on women's employment in holiday resorts." -- Anne White * Slavonic and East European Review * "Where are the women in globalized tourism? On the Bulgarian beach front! Yes, the Bulgarian beach front. The Red Riviera takes us along on the surprising journeys that thirty-something, orange-haired Desi and the younger Svetla are navigating as they steer their ways through the postsocialist, capitalist market tourism economy. Suddenly we see waitressing as a privileged job; we see university entries shrinking; we see the whole meaning of being a woman in a tourism job changing. This is an engaging, smart, and feminist book."-Cynthia Enloe, author of The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire "This engaging book draws readers into unfamiliar tourist playgrounds in Bulgaria. Kristen Ghodsee deftly intertwines ethnographies with widely held assumptions about how the transition from communism to the free market affected the economy, the society, and the people. Tourism has rewarded the highly educated women who dominate the industry. She further questions the relevance of women's NGOs which emphasize non-economic issues rather than focusing on education and jobs."-Irene Tinker, author of Street Foods: Urban Food and Employment in Developing Countries "The Red Riviera explores gendered inequalities in Bulgaria's postsocialist tourist industry, focusing on the forces and factors that have enabled women, in particular, to dominate this sector. Kristen Ghodsee's well-written study adds provocatively to debates on cultural capital and capitalism, gender, and postsocialist transformation."-Gail Kligman, coauthor of The Politics of Gender after Socialism

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Övrig information

Kristen Ghodsee is the John S. Osterwies Associate Professor in Gender and Women's Studies at Bowdoin College.


Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 1. Shattered Windows, Broken Lives 21 2. Making Mitko Tall 43 3. The Red Riviera 76 4. To the Wolves: Tourism and Economic Transformation 115 5. Feminism-by-Design 151 Appendix A: Tables 175 Appendix B: Formal Interviews 182 Notes 189 Glossary 209 Selected Bibliography 211 Index 223