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MIT21A_226F09_lec15 - Oct 28 2009 15 ETHNIC IDENTITY...

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Oct. 28, 2009 15 ETHNIC IDENTITY, NATIONALISM, AND GENDER Read: De la Cadena, Marisol, 1995, “Women are more Indian”: Ethnicity and gender in a community near Cuzco. Smith, Carol, 1996. Race, class, gender ideology in Guatemala: modern and anti-modern forms. I. Introduction A We have noted in class several times that class /ethnicity /race /nation /gender /sexuality intersect, are “imbricated”—conjoined, “interact with and constrain one another” 1 B. Nationality is gendered C. Ethnicity is gendered 1. De la Cadena’s case in Peru: “individuals construct or contest their ascribed ethnicity within specific social contexts of power and domination based on class and gender inequalities” (p. 331) 2. Recall the reading by Schein: “The Consumption of color and the poolitics of white skin in post-Mao China” 3. DISCUSS : other examples of gendered nation, gendered ethnicity you can think of? II. Gendering occurs at two levels: on-the-ground situations, and symbolically A. “On-the-ground” refers to how people actually live; their options, constraints, their material reality 1. Example: limiting reproduction a. Example of Slovenian program to promote sterilizing Gypsy women b. Attempt to limit births of the “wrong” nationality/ ethnic group c. Or the wrong race 1) “Mississippi appendectomies” performed on rural black women 1 Smith, p. 51. 15 Ethnic identity, nationalism, gender 2009 1/19/10
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2 2 See Gail Kligman, 1998. The Politics of Duplicity: Controlling Reproduction in Ceausescu’s Romania . Berkeley: University of California Press. 3 See Susan Martha Kahn, 2000. Reproducing Jews: A cultural account of assisted conception in Israel . Durham: Duke University Press. 2) Were in fact sterilizations—outright deception 2. And the opposite: attempts to increase births of members of the “right” nationality/ ethnic group/ race a. Piece by Heng and Devan we’ll read for the next class is about Singapore government’s pro-natalist state policies directed at Chinese women, but not Malays or South Asians b. Romania under Ceausescu, the last socialist dictator 2 1) Wanted to increase birth rate 2) Contraception and abortion were basically not available a) Like all E. European socialist countries, both women and men were expected to hold full-time jobs; state services to help families with infants and small children inadequate 3) Consequently many unwanted infants were left as foundlings to be raised in state orphanages 4) Horrible conditions; worse was their being given
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