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Gender Dichotomies in the Kitchen: Feminine and Masculine Qualities of Spaces and Artifact (2012)

Directed by Patrick Lee Lucas. 95 pp.


Using a postmodern theory of close readings, I investigated three artifacts: the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, the George Foreman Grill, and the Keurig Coffee Maker to trace the changing values as imbedded in kitchens in the early twenty-first century. The kitchen indicates a space in the home filled with hidden symbols and ideologies that reflect the identities of its owners. Historically, the kitchen has primarily been associated with feminine qualities, but today it represents more of a hybrid space, intertwining masculine and feminine genders. I observe this gender dichotomy in the layout and design of the kitchen, but also in the objects placed there. In addition, I characterized a set of wedding registries from Belk Department Store and investigated a set of floor plans from Better Homes and Gardens to further investigate the gender dichotomies of the kitchen.

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