In Women and Tourist Work in Jamaica: Seven Miles of Sandy Beach, A. Lynne Bolles examines Jamaican women tourist workers and their workplaces in Negril, Jamaica. A major component of Negril’s tourism success is the labor of women tourist workers, ranging from housekeepers to hotel and business owners. Bolles’s ethnographic research examines key aspects of women’s labor in the tourist industry through the lenses of class, color, education, and training. Through the narratives of thirty interlocutors, Bolles focuses on the prescience of emotional labor and face-to-face encounters, investigating these women’s ideas about tourism on the local level and their wariness of the changing physical environment as a result of tourism expansion.
For more information, check out A Conversation with A. Lynn Bolles: Women and Tourist Work in Jamaica.
A. Lynn Bolles is professor emerita of The Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, and past president of the Caribbean Studies Association.
Chapter 1: Brief History of Caribbean and Jamaican Tourism
Chapter 2: Tourism in Negril, The Capital of Casual
Chapter 3: Women, Work and Tourism
Chapter 4: Welcome to Negril
Chapter 5: Entrepreneurs
Chapter 6: Nightlife
Conclusion: Women Tourist Workers in The Capital of Casual
Women and Tourist Work in Jamaica is an insightful account of the crucial roles played by women in the day-to-day re-creation of Jamaica's tourism industry. Its considerable strength derives in no small part from Bolles' long-term commitment to the subject. Few ethnographies of tourism provide such a magnificent grounding in the intricacies of gender or the importance of historical context to the subject. This book is a must-read.
This long-awaited study by A. Lynn Bolles provides the most detailed and poignant picture to date of the lives of women working in Jamaica's tourism industry. Set in the storied destination of Negril, with its sharp social divisions and clear-cut distinctions between the 'laid back' West-End and the Beach, Bolles spares us no sentimental recourse to tropes of 'tropical paradise' in her careful ethnographic study. Life is harsh and exploitative for these women, but beyond this, Bolles captures what she describes as a sense of Jamaicanness, a spirit of ‘cordial, reciprocal and mutual respect,’ which is the lasting impression from this important work.
The appendix for Women and Tourist Work in Jamaica: Seven Miles of Sandy Beach can be downloaded.
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American Anthropological Association: Bolles was awarded the 2021 Gender Equity Award for her feminist research in anthropology.
The Anthropology of Tourism: Heritage, Mobility and Society series editor Michael A. Di Giovine talks with author, A. Lynn Bolles about her latest book Women and Tourist Work in Jamaica. Watch here.