Publication Details

Eriksen, C., Waitt , G. & Wilkinson, C. (2016). Gendered dynamics of wildland firefighting in Australia. Society and Natural Resources, 29 (11), 1296-1310.


This article examines the gendered dynamics of wildland firefighting through analysis of employment statistics and in-depth interviews with employees of the National Parks and Wildlife Service in New South Wales, Australia. The statistics suggest increased gender equality for women following the affirmative gender politics of the 1990s in a previously male-dominated workplace. However, we argue these statistics mask how some patterns of practice surrounding fire management continue to reproduce a gendered workplace. Turning to the concept of hegemonic masculinity, we explore the ongoing gendered assumptions of this workplace and identify those that prove most resistant to change around bodies, masculinity, leadership, and parenting. This focuses the spotlight on gender equity. The article considers respect of gender difference in relation to wider questions of mentoring, training and leadership.



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