The Making of Mother: The Role of the Kitchen in the Home

  • Jennifer Craik


‘Generally people, and women in particular, remember their childhood kitchens more clearly than any other spaces in their lives’ (Greenbaum, 1981, p. 61). Memories of the kitchen are memories of gatherings around the kitchen table, of the smells of cooking, and of the sounds of chatter and laughter. Yet many kitchens today lack a central table or perpetual occupants. The kitchen is still significant but perhaps not in the way that it was. The argument of this chapter is that the kitchen may be seen as the panopticon of the modern home, as the control centre of domestic space from which all can be seen and to which all defers. It is the site and source of domestic power, and yet, like Bentham’s ideal prison, it is constrained by its very internalisation and institutionalisation. The kitchen has become the double-edged sword of domesticity, at once the metaphor for family life and the sign of domestic isolation.


Family Life Living Room Household Task Dine Room Interior Design 
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Copyright information

© Graham Allan and Graham Crow 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Craik

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