‘Both are equal, which is awesome’: exploring gendered discourses of Canadian summer camp experiences

Mandi Baker, John Hannant-Minchel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study discusses gendered discourses of summer residential camp experiences and, in particular, the gendered roles performed by camp counsellors. By drawing on feminist poststructuralist concepts, this article considers how gender power-relations operate and how camp counsellors perform gender within camps. We start by considering the history of gender in early camp movements and recent research literature on camps. Interview participants revealed the iteration and reiteration of stereotypic gender norms within camp contexts. The findings suggest that participants found both empowerment and challenge in the assumed genderlessness, or gender neutrality, of camp experiences. Findings also suggest that women counsellors are assumed to do disproportionate amount of care work. The article concludes by considering opportunities for positive youth development when gendered norms are critically considered, resisted and/or transformed within camp contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Leisure Research
Early online date1 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2020

Keywords

  • Summer camp
  • gender performativity
  • care work
  • youth employment
  • feminist poststructuralism

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