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«It was another Skin»

The Kitchen in 1950s Western Australia


Sian Supski

This study examines the meanings of the kitchen to women who were wives, mothers, housewives and homemakers in the 1950s in Western Australia. It uses qualitative data collected from oral history interviews with migrant and Australian born women.
The book provides insight to women’s everyday lives and analyses practices, such as cooking, ironing, budgeting, shopping, dishwashing and decorating which provide women with power. Central themes of this study explore the meaning of home and kitchen design and analyses how practices of the kitchen inform women’s multiple identities. It also shows how dominant discourses, such as domesticity, femininity and efficiency reinforce gendered notions of women’s work in the kitchen. Moreover, the book examines points of resistance, it shows that women perform their everyday practices, design their kitchens and decorate them in ways that perhaps were not always intended by domestic science experts, designers, architects and manufacturers.
Contents: The design and architecture of kitchens in 1950s Western Australia – The making of home - how women created a feeling of home through kitchen design, food and decoration in 1950s Australia – Foodmaking as a thoughtful practice – Examining the importance of kitchens and homes to migrant and Australian born women in post-war Australia.