other_identity - do western sexual identities travel? are...

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do western sexual identities travel? are our categories and assumptions about the meaning of sexuality, developed in the US/Western Europe, applicable to non-western settings? or do they obscure our understanding of sexuality elsewhere? can insights from other cultural settings be brought back to shed light on the possible limitations of our own assumptions about sexuality, gender, identity here in the US? Anick Prieur’s book offered our first pointer — men having sex with men doesn’t have the same meaning in terms of identity, gender, sexuality in Mexico and in the US Swarr and Nagar’s article on experiences of women in same-sex relationships in India and South Africa — clearly argue that the vocabulary, assumptions developed in western academic contexts do not necessarily do justice to these women’s experiences — speak to their concerns according to Swarr and Nagar, what are limiting assumptions of western feminism, regarding lesbianism? western feminism tends to view lesbianism first and foremost in terms of desire in the “west” there’s an increasing emphasis on external expression of inward feeling, as captured in “coming out” narratives — but in Third World contexts (or rural, working class contexts of US) this can be overshadowed by NEEDS — economic survival, social survival (including threat of violence) western theorizing of sexuality has focused on the INDIVIDUAL — as unit of analysis valuing of autonomous individual authoring her own destiny (achievement) but in many parts of the world, local ideology cannot separate individual from FAMILY,
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course ANTHRO 2.158 taught by Professor Ericajames during the Spring '03 term at MIT.

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other_identity - do western sexual identities travel? are...

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