Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

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  • Edition: 5th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-06-25
  • Publisher: Pearson
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This reader introduces students/readers to the most significant topics in the field of anthropology of gender-drawing not only from classic sources, but also from the most recent, diverse literature on gender roles and ideology around the world. It takes a clear, accessible approach to the subject matter, making coverage appropriate for students from various levels.

Author Biography

Caroline Brettell received her BA degree from Yale University and her MA and Ph.D. degrees from Brown University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University in 1988, and in 2003 was named Dedman Family Distinguished Professor. From 1989-1994 she served as Director of Women's Studies and from 1994-2004 she served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology. She is the author of Men Who Migrate, Women Who Wait: Population and History in a Portuguese Parish (1986), We Have Already Cried Many Tears: The Stories of Three Portuguese Migrant Women (1982, 1995), Writing Against the Wind: A Mother's Life History (1999) and Anthropology and Migration: Essays on Transnationalism, Ethnicity and Identity (2003); co-author with Richard Brettell of Painters and Peasants in the 19th Century (1983); editor of When The Read What We Write: The Politics of Ethnography (1993); coeditor of International Migration: The Female Experience (1986), Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Prentice-Hall 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005), Gender and Health: An International Perspective (1996), and Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (2000). She is also the author of numerous book chapters and articles. She currently is Principal Investigator on a project funded through the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation titled "Immigrants, Rights and Incorporation in a Suburban Metropolis." Professor Brettell has served as a member of NIH Study Section-SNEM 3, and several selection panels for the Social Science Research Council and the NEH. She has served as President of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe and of the Social Science History Association.


Carolyn Sargent received her Bachelors degree from Michigan State University, her MA degree from the University of Manchester, and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University in 1979. She has been serving as Director of Women's Studies since 1994. She is currently a research fellow at the University of Paris V. Sargent is the author of The Cultural Context of Therapeutic Choice: Obstetrical Decisions Among the Bariba of Benin (1982), and Maternity, Medicine and Power; Reproductive Decisions in Urban Benin (1989); and coeditor of Medical Anthropology: A Handbook of Theory and Method, Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Prentice-Hall 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005), Gender and Health: An International Perspective (1996); Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge (1997), and Small Wars: The Cultural Politics of Childhood. In addition to several book chapters, she has also authored numerous articles, many of them published in Medical Anthropological Quarterly and Social Science and Medicine. She is the recipient of many research grants and fellowships and is currently Principal Investigator of a project funded through the Cultural Anthropology Program of the National Science Foundation titled "Reproduction and Representations of Family among Malian Migrants in Paris." She is currently serving on a Senior Advisory Panel of the National Science Foundation and on the Executive Board for the Society for Medical Anthropology. In Dallas she serves as a Community Representative for both Parkland and Baylor Hospitals.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xiii
About the Authorsp. xv
Biology, Gender, and Human Evolutionp. 1
Animal Models and Genderp. 7
The Role of Women in Human Evolutionp. 16
Gender and War: Are Women Tough Enough for Military Combat?p. 21
Lifeboat Ethics: Mother Love and Child Death in Northeast Brazilp. 33
The Cultural Nexus of Aka Father-Infant Bondingp. 39
Gender and Prehistoryp. 51
The Archaeology of Gender Today: New Vistas, New Challengesp. 56
The Fashioning of Womenp. 65
Warriors and Rulers: Royal Women of the Classic Mayap. 76
Domestic Worlds and Public Worldsp. 85
The Domestic Sphere of Women and the Public World of Men: The Strengths and Limitations of an Anthropological Dichotomyp. 90
"It's a Pleasure to Cook for Him": Food, Mealtimes, and Gender in Some South Wales Householdsp. 99
Fatherhood and the Mediating Role of Womenp. 109
Cities of Womenp. 123
Equality and Inequality: The Sexual Division of Labor and Gender Stratificationp. 137
Woman the Hunter: The Agtap. 143
Gender, Horticulture, and the Division of Labor on Vanatinaip. 152
Do Tents and Herds Still Matter? Pastoral Nomadism and Gender among the Tuareg in Niger and Malip. 162
Women and Work in a Postrevolutionary Society: Urban Cooperatives and the Informal Economy in Nicaraguap. 174
The Cultural Construction of Gender and Personhoodp. 191
My Encounter with Machismo in Spainp. 196
Rituals of Manhood: Male Initiation in Papua New Guineap. 211
The Named and the Nameless: Gender and Person in Chinese Societyp. 215
Gender and the Stories Pittsburgh Police Officers Tell about Using Physical Forcep. 227
The Making and Unmaking of Persons: Gender and Body in Northeast Indiap. 237
Culture, Sexuality, and the Bodyp. 249
Is There a Muslim Sexuality? Changing Constructions of Sexuality in Egyptian Bedouin Weddingsp. 255
From Pollution to Love Magic: The New Anthropology of Menstruationp. 264
Hijras: An "Alternative" Sex/Gender in Indiap. 275
Measuring Up to Barbie: Ideals of the Feminine Body in Popular Culturep. 282
Gender, Property, and the Statep. 297
Thinking about Women and the Origin of the Statep. 302
Dowry, Bride-Burning, and Female Power in Indiap. 308
Encountering the State: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women's Political Experiencep. 317
Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch-Box as Ideological State Apparatusp. 329
Gender, Household, and Kinshipp. 347
Beyond the "Pattern of Heaven": Gender, Kinship and the Family in Chinap. 352
Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Labyrinth of Working and Parenting in a Poor Communityp. 362
Matrifocality, Power, and Gender Relations in Jamaicap. 377
The Female World of Cards and Holidays: Women, Families, and the Work of Kinshipp. 385
Gender, Ritual, and Religionp. 395
Spirit Possession and Gender Complementarity: Zar in Rural Northern Sudanp. 401
"Tradition" and Threat: Women's Obscenity in Giriama Funerary Ritualsp. 412
Shamans, Bodies, and Sex: Misreading a Korean Ritualp. 425
Women, Religion, and Modernization: Tradition and Transformation among Elderly Jews in Israelp. 437
Gender, Politics, and Reproductionp. 449
Gender and Ritual: Giving Birth the American Wayp. 455
Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu's Romaniap. 467
Surrogate Motherhood: Rethinking Biological Models, Kinship, and Familyp. 482
Female Genital Cutting: Culture and Controversyp. 491
Culture Contact, Development, and the Global Economyp. 505
The Impact of Development on Women: The Interplay of Material Conditions and Gender Ideologyp. 510
Doing Their Homework: The Dilemma of Planning Women's Garden Programs in Bangladeshp. 525
Factory as Home and Family: Female Workers in the Moroccan Garment Industryp. 532
Sexuality and Discipline among Filipina Domestic Workers in Hong Kongp. 545
"Wild Pigs and Dog Men": Rape and Domestic Violence as "Women's Issues" in Papua New Guineap. 564
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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