Date of Award

1998

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Social Sciences Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Suellen Murray

Second Advisor

Pamela Weatherill

Abstract

This study uses a feminist framework to explore women's experiences of relocating from a city or large regional centre to a small and isolated town. It comes in response to my personal and professional experience of remote relocation and to the dearth of feminist discussion in this area. The site of the study is a town of 2,500 people, situated in Northern Australia over 1200 kilometres from the nearest capital city and 800 kilometres from the nearest regional centre. Six women who relocated within the previous 18 months participated in the study. Two of the women were single and four were married. They ranged in age from 35 years to 59 years. Semi-structured interviews were audiotaped and transcribed. Data was analysed using coding procedures loosely based on a grounded theory approach. Results show that these women's experiences of relocation were shaped by affiliative needs and by ideological imperatives of family, work and gender. Choice and context of the move impact strongly on women's relocation experiences and on the coping strategies they use. The feminist focus of this study highlights the interactive and cumulative nature of relocation losses for women, particularly those who move frequently. This study also acknowledges the extent of relocation work that women do. It reveals the gendered nature of relocation experiences and challenges popular notions of relocation as beneficial for all.

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