Kristine Kilanski: "The gendered burden of fear in the 'wild, wild west.'"
Kilanski examines how fear shaped the lives of women living in an oil boomtown. Drawing on ethnography and interviews, she argues that the construction of natural resource boomtowns as the “wild, wild west,” serves a two-fold purpose: 1) it captures Americans’ fascination with the link between masculinity and danger; and 2) operates to fashion these spaces as male domains, where high-paying jobs are reserved for men. While women and men co-create and sustain the conditions from which boomtowns emerge as an unsafe place, the end result of this co-construction has unequal gendered outcomes.
Kristine Kilanski is a postdoctoral fellow with the Clayman Institute.