Gendered Spaces at Home Feminine and Masculine Traits in Domestic Interiors

Ana Moreira, Hugo Farias


As a cultural product, the home and its settings are shaped according to social norms and characteristics. Throughout history, domestic interiors continuously changed as a mirror of Feminine and Male roles in society. This paper focuses on the analysis of domestic interiors from the modern age until present times, describing and depicting cases of spatial segregation and specialization based on the gender of its users or occupants. The historical account that is portrayed revisits the domestic arrangements where genderization was more evident, namely bedrooms, kitchen and, at times, rooms for specific uses or functions. The goal of the study is to understand in which manner gender roles and society’s views of gender character and behaviour have impacted domestic interiors and living modes. The produced scholarship shows that the former have indeed determined the latter and that from the beginning of the modern era until today western society has witnessed a cyclical evolution: from degendered spaces to highly segregated homes, from these to spatial democratizing and, finally, from a democratic home to a return to segregating models. The study concludes that domestic interiors were and somewhat continue to be greatly determined by social concepts of gender attributes, hierarchy and behaviour. Furthermore, although the paper focuses only on western homes, being limited by this context, further research could be developed on the analysis of gendered spaces in other cultures, societies and geographic contexts, to consolidate enlightenment on the subject.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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