This book explores the ever-changing interconnections between bodies, subjectivities, space, beach cultures and tourism, engaging with the geographies of the beach: its makings, boundaries and meanings for the West. Drawing on feminist scholarship, Christine Metusela and Gordon Waitt explore the reciprocal relationship between bodies and beaches, focusing on the shifting intersection between age, race, class, sex, gender and national discourses that naturalise particular bodies as belonging on the beach. The authors critically examine how subjectivities of bodies are produced under specific circumstances - the Illawarra beaches from 1830-1940, some 80 kilometres beyond the metropolitan centre of Sydney. Drawing on modernisation and nation building discourses, the paradoxical qualities of the Illawarra are highlighted; imagined as both the New Brighton of Australia and the Sheffield of the South.
Christine Metusela is an early career researcher currently conducting research for Neuroscience Research Australia and the University of New South Wales on projects funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council that address key questions about Aboriginal health and ageing and improving service provision for early onset dementia. Her PhD thesis explored social geographies of the beach. In particular, it focused on the transformations of the social relationships that forged the Illawarra beaches in NSW, Australia as a leisure and tourism space. Gordon Waitt is Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Wollongong, New South Wales. He is part of a larger team of researchers at the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER). His research interests include gender, sexuality, place, cultures and tourism. In addition to numerous articles and book chapters he co-authored Introducing Human Geography (Longman-Pearson Education Australia, 2000) and Gay Tourism: Culture and Context (Haworth Press, 2006).
Introduction: Stripping Off Chapter 1. Sex in Private: `Bathing in Perfection' Chapter 2. The Public Bathing Reserve: Disciplining the `Insatiable Desire to Pose on the Sands' Chapter 3. Rail and Car Mobilities: Technologies of Movement and Touring the Sublime Chapter 4. The `Brighton of Australia' becomes the `Sheffield of the South': Knowledge, Power and the Production of an `Industrial Heartland' in an `Earthly Paradise' Chapter 5. `Battle for Honours': Surf Lifesavers, Masculinity, Performativity and Spatiality Chapter 6. Making Bathing `Modern'