Kenya's Tourist Industry and Global Production Networks: Gender, Race, and Inequality

Global Networks, 2015

20 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2018

Date Written: March 20, 2015

Abstract

In this article, I consider the position of gender and race in the tourism global production network in Kenya. To address a gap in scholarship on global production networks, I explore the racial and gender characteristics evident in functionally upgraded national tour operators and socially upgraded workers and community members around the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The main findings address the relation of race and gender to disarticulation practices identified in ‘societal’, ‘network’ and ‘territorial’ forms of embeddedness supported by racial and gender representations of skill capabilities and tourist desires. These practices and representations support a production network symbolized by whites, Kenyan-Asians and expatriates in the highest value segments and jobs, and indigenous African, Maasai and female workers in the lowest value positions. The findings highlight how disarticulation in economic and social upgrading is a gendered and racial process that perpetuates social difference and hierarchy.

Keywords: TOURISM, GLOBAL PRODUCTION NETWORK (GPN), KENYA, EMBEDDEDNESS, RACE, GENDER, DISARTICULATION

Suggested Citation

Christian, Michelle M., Kenya's Tourist Industry and Global Production Networks: Gender, Race, and Inequality (March 20, 2015). Global Networks, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3144430

Michelle M. Christian (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( email )

Department of Sociology
901 McClung Tower
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

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