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Subject formation through the influence of conservation governance: A feminist intersectional approach to neoliberal environmentality

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Research on environmentality has provided insights on subject formation through the influence of conservation governance. Within this research, examination of subject formation from the perspective of local socio-cultural dynamics has been gaining attention. However, a gender perspective in environmentality research remains marginal. In this presentation, I discuss women’s engagement with ecotourism based on ethnographic research as a part of my Phd at Corbett tiger reserve, India. Ecotourism has been promoted as a win-win at Corbett tiger reserve, and local dependence on tourism has been prolonged, influencing change in land use and livelihoods. Within this context, I focus on women and tourism and I draw from intersectional feminist political ecology to locate the influence of caste and class on women’s involvement in tourism and implications on their lives. In relating this perspective to environmentality, I find that women’s engagement with tourism is shaped by intersecting dynamics of caste and class, and the motivation for engaging in tourism and its implications often go beyond monetary benefits that neoliberal environmentality tends to emphasise. A focus on gender and related socio-cultural differences can also reveal the complex ways that specific conservation measures exacerbate inequity, and can be avenues to focus on for transformation and just conservation

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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