Anthropology Gender

Anthropology Gender - 1 Anthropology: Gender (11/15) Main...

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1 Anthropology: Gender (11/15) Main Ideas: How gender is constructed and varied from culture to culture Difference between sex and gender Explanations for gender variation, about gender hierarchies and inequalities Sex v. Gender Sex – biological differences between men and women and the differential role between these in reproduction Gender – culture, expectations and rules that people have about the sexes; every culture acknowledges and recognizes differences between the sexes but how they organize and categorize between these differences vary greatly Gender Widely practiced approach to gender is the cultural construction of gender – puts front and center the role of culture in our understanding of gender, brings to our attention variation, also argues that there is very little if anything that is natural about gender behavior (something programmed within us to make us act and behave this way instead of being socialized to behave in our different gender roles) One of big problems in recognition of gender – andocentric bias (male-centered focus), history of anthropology written by white men and as such their understanding of the world played out strongly in what they focused on in their research; child-rearing, mothering, mother-mother relationships were not of great interest to many of these anthropologists Late 1950s before gender focus came into cultural anthropology; focuses on childhood and childbearing Men glamorized their roles – man the hunter, the providers for all, because of this often squeezed their data into the models that they thought fit into the things that were important from their male perspective Heather Pringle makes the argument that man the hunter idea put women in the background in terms about understanding and analysis about evolution, shows that the contributions of women to the well-being of their communities and societies is far greater than we imagine Venus figurines explains from very andocentric view, had very similar body shapes – wide hips, thighs, large belly and breasts; male perspective argued these are erotica for
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2 prehistoric men; recent arguments say these were made by women and represent goddess cults Shows how the same material look very different when we bring gender into the analysis
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Anthropology Gender - 1 Anthropology: Gender (11/15) Main...

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