Domesticity, Gender, and Change in Northern Kamchatka

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Petra Rethmann


This article seeks to trace how gender transformations have occurred at Kamchatka’s northeastern shore. Taking as its point of departure an incident that occurred in the mid-1990s in a reindeer herding camp in Kamchatka, it asks how gender transformations are marked, and what kind of historical developments have contributed to their production. In following historical and anthropological scholarship interested in a European-centered civilizing process, I suggest that in particular one register, domesticity—by which I mean both a relation to “the home” and a relation to power—has shaped gender relations in the present. I ultimately seek to understand how state-induced processes of gender transformations have contributed to frequently difficult situations for women and men. In this vein, this article contributes to discussions of gender and change in the Russian North and beyond.

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