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Womens Question HW

Womens Question HW - ShashankGupta 1)AccordingtoNarayan,...

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Shashank Gupta 02/16/2010 1) According to Narayan, what are two reasons feminists should be concerned about cultural  essentialism?   -Feminists should be concerned about cultural essentialism because it is similar to gender  essentialism. Gender essentialism constructs sharp binaries about the quality, abilities or location of men  and women, cultural essentialism does the same with Western Cultures and Non – Western Cultures.  Also, “while gender essentialism convolutes socially dominant norms of femininity with the problems,  interested and locations of particular women, cultural essentialism convolutes socially dominant cultural  norms with the actual values and practices of a culture.   - Another problem with Cultural essentialism is that while describing the problem it actually  creates it. Ex. The sati tradition came more into practice when it was talked about by the colonists then  when it was not talked about by them. Further, cultural essentialism portrays a picture of the culture as  unchanging, whereby obscuring reality.  2) According to Narayan, how does knowledge of history help to resist cultural essentialism?   -According to Narayan, knowledge of history is a powerful tool in resisting cultural essentialism. 
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