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Willson, Margaret Elizabeth

Grant Type: 
Post-Ph.D. Research Grant
Insitutional Affiliation: 
Washington, U. of
Status: 
Completed Grant
Approve Date: 
May 4, 2010
Project Title: 
Willson, Dr. Margaret Elizabeth, U. of Washington, Seattle, WA - To aid research on 'Turning the Tide: Gender, Seafaring, and Notions of Risk in Iceland'

DR. MARGARET E. WILLSON, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, was awarded funding in May 2010, to aid research on 'Turning the Tide: Gender, Seafaring, and Notions of Risk in Iceland.' This project explored male and female notions of risk in Iceland, particularly as related to fishing practice. One aim was to learn how these notions of risk might have contributed to Iceland's economic collapse. The investigator found that although Icelandic notions of risk vary between men and women as regards concepts of investment, they do not vary dramatically as regards their relationship to hazards of the land, sea and weather. An emergent focus of the research was on sea women. The traditional way Iceland gendered work is described as that women worked on land while the men worked at sea. However, this research found that a small but significant number of women have worked at sea from the earliest times to the present. These women also hold, and have held, positions at all levels of the fishing industry and, it appears, in all areas of the country. Thus, these women represent a thin slice of experience and knowledge that runs through the entire industry. This research will change the literature regarding women and fishing in Iceland. It also gained insight into how notions of risk are gendered and explored new ways of considering gendered models of development and access to power.