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‘It Was Another Skin': The kitchen as home for Australian post-war immigrant women

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This article examines the importance of the kitchen for immigrant women who arrived in Australia in the late 1940s and 1950s. Using oral history interviews with 27 immigrant women I examine the multiple and overlapping ways in which they ‘make' home. Women construct home through the kitchen by re/negotiating the kitchen space to ensure that the kitchen and their central placement within it produces a ‘feeling' of being ‘at home'. Women shape the architecture and design of the kitchen in terms of their own understandings of the discourses of efficiency and domesticity, and also through colour and decoration, to ‘make' the kitchen home. These understandings will be explored through nuanced readings of the immigrant women's stories of their kitchen lives. Este artículo examina la importancia de la cocina para las mujeres inmigrantes quien llegaron a Australia en los últimos años de los cuarentas y los cincuentas. Utilizando entrevistas de las historias orales de 27 mujeres inmigrantes, examino las maneras diversas y traslapando en las que ellas producen ‘el hogar'. La mujeres construyen el hogar a través de re/negociar el espacio de la cocina para asegurar que la cocina y sus colocaciones dentro de ella produzcan una ‘sensación' de estar ‘en hogar'. Además, para ‘hacer' la cocina como hogar, mujeres influyen la arquitectura y diseño de la cocina en cuanto a sus comprensiones de los discursos de eficacia y domesticidad, y también por los colores y decoraciones. Estas comprensiones se explorarán a través de lecturas matices de las historias de las mujeres inmigrantes de sus vidas de cocina.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Australia Research Institute, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Australia

Publication date: 01 April 2006

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