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Exploring women's employment in tourism under state socialism: Experiences of tourism work in socialist Romania

Dumbraveanu, D and Light, D and Young, C and Chapman, A (2016) Exploring women's employment in tourism under state socialism: Experiences of tourism work in socialist Romania. Tourist Studies, 16. ISSN 1468-7976

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Abstract

Recent academic debate into women’s experiences of tourism employment has emphasised the extremely heterogeneous nature of such work and the need for sensitivity to local political, economic, social and cultural contexts. This article focuses on one such context which has received little attention – state socialism – and we explore women’s experiences of tourism work in socialist Romania. Such work had characteristics in common with non-socialist contexts, but in other ways took a form which was distinctive to the socialist state. It was characterised by extensive training, good pay and opportunities for promotion (at least to middle management level). The socialist state also devised unique solutions to the problem of the seasonality of tourism work. However, women also faced extensive surveillance by the state’s security services and faced harsh penalties for under-performance.

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