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Gender, taboo and deceit: The alternative truths of household research

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Jon Cloke


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The theoretical reification of the household and the concomitant issues of power within and outside it have resulted in analytical problems that continue to plague development studies in particular and geography in general. Models of the household have continued to develop in sophistication over the last two decades as development practitioners and theoreticians have moved their focus ever downwards towards the individual. As cooperative, semi-cooperative and non-cooperative models have emerged, the descriptors that were once thought to be the determinants of 'the household' have instead painted a picture of increasing complexity through the relationships, flows and processes that are deemed to determine household status and location. This article presents evidence from the city of Masaya in Nicaragua to contribute to the debate on the household, questioning the informational basis on which household bargaining is said to take place in orthodox models, raising questions about such informational assumptions and the way that they continue to inform economic models of the household. The article thus questions the assumptions of prior models and suggests methodological lacunae that must be addressed in future economic and sociological analyses of the household. © 2007 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cloke J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: GeoJournal

Year: 2007

Volume: 70

Issue: 1

Pages: 33-45

ISSN (print): 0343-2521

ISSN (electronic): 1572-9893

Publisher: Springer Netherlands


DOI: 10.1007/s10708-007-9096-6


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