A World Full of Women

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  • Edition: 6th
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2013-07-10
  • Publisher: Routledge

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Takes a cross-cultural approach to the study of women


A World Full of Women, 6/e, combines descriptive ethnography, gender theory, and international statistics to present a comprehensive picture of the lives of women. Readers will better comprehend and contextualize women’s issues and experiences in today’s world. This title explores the diversity of women’s lives from class to culture, with examples ranging from women’s work to marriage patterns, health issues, violence against women, and grassroots organizing.


MySearchLab is a part of the Ward/Edelstein program. Research and writing tools, including access to academic journals, help students further explore the study of women. To provide students with flexibility, students can download the eText to a tablet using the free Pearson eText app.


NOTE: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase the text with MySearchLab, order the package ISBN:


0205957625 / 9780205957620 World Full of Women, A Plus MySearchLab with Pearson eText --Access Card Package

Package consists of:   

0205239927 / 9780205239924 MySearchLab with Pearson eText -- Valuepack Access Card

0205872808 / 9780205872800 World Full of Women, A

Author Biography

MARTHA WARD was professor of Anthropology at the University of New Orleans for 42 years. Among other activities, she taught the first course in Women’s Studies and Gender in Louisiana.  She has survived the glass ceiling and academic politics, the Sexual Revolution, two marriages, Hurricane Katrina, and the intensities of motherhood ---among many similar experiences.  She has done fieldwork in and published her work in Micronesia, Tirol in the Austrian-Italian Alps, on the politics of reproduction in the United States, and on health care disparities for poor women.  The most recent project is a radical ethnographic and archival reconstruction of Voodoo in New Orleans, centering on the lives of its two famous practitioners, a mother and her daughter both named Marie Laveau.  Post-retirement she loves on her grandchildren and her looms where she weaves in honor of the work of women through time and space.


MONICA EDELSTEIN earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Tulane University in 2001. Her research includes an investigation of spirit possession practices among Ethiopian immigrants in Israel and gendered practices in Judaism. Before earning her Ph.D., she worked as a community organizer and AIDS and reproductive rights activist in Dallas and New Orleans. She has taught anthropology courses on gender, women, Africa, and Native North America for both Tulane and the University of New Orleans and works as an anthropology subject matter expert for Pearson’s textbook publications. She has collaborated on World Full of Women since the 4th edition.  She resides in New Orleans with her husband and two daughters.


Table of Contents

In this Section:
1) Brief Table of Contents

2) Full Table of Contents





Chapter 1.  “What’s for Dinner Honey?”  Work and Gender

Chapter 2.  Love and the Work of Culture

Chapter 3.  Blood and Milk:  Biocultural Markers in the Lives of Women

Chapter 4.  Patterns of Partnering from Romance to Resistance

Chapter 5.  Everyday Power:  Women’s Agency, Authority, and Influence

Chapter 6.  A Two-Bodied World

Chapter 7.  A Third Sex?

Chapter 8.  Life’s Lesions

Chapter 9.  Who Owns Her Body?

Chapter 10.  Invisible Workers






    A World Full of Women

    Gender, “Nature,” and Culture

    Talking Troubles and Carrying Conversations

    What Do You Think?


Chapter 1.  “What’s for Dinner Honey?”  Work and Gender

    Work:  The First Fact of Life

    Hunting, Gathering, and Being Human

    Planting and Harvesting:  The Next Revolution

    Off to Work We Go

    Value, Valued, and Valuable

    What Do You Think?

    A Few of the Many Books You May Want to Read


Chapter 2.  Love and the Work of Culture

    More Than Personal Lives

    The Personal Is Professional

    Sex and Temperament

    Daughters of Sex and Temperament

    Beyond the Sepik

    Intimacy and the World Stage

    Conclusion:  Their Last Great Work

    What Do You Think?

    So Many Books:  Where Can I Start?



Chapter 3.  Blood and Milk:  Biocultural Markers in the Lives of Women

    Moonstruck Maidenhood:  Taboo and Meaning

    Desire and Control

    Comparative Childbirth

    From Blood to Milk

    Prime Time or Dirty Old Ladies

    Social Women in Biological Bodies:  Some Conclusions

    What Do You Think?

    Some Very Important Books to Read


Chapter 4.  Patterns of Partnering from Romance to Resistance

    Varieties of Arrangements

    Love, Marriage, and Lavish Weddings

    Nuclear Family Meltdown

    What Do You Think?

    Reading from Romance to Resistance



Chapter 5. Everyday Power:  Women’s Agency, Authority, and Influence

    Rethinking Women’s Power

    Migrants, Immigrants, and Refugees:  Crossing the Boundaries of Domestic Power

    Conclusions from One End of the Power Spectrum to the Other

    What Do You Think?

    Powerful Books to Read


Chapter 6.  A Two-Bodied World

    Cultural Systems for Separating Females and Males

    Amazon:  Women of the Forest and the Flutes

    Melanesia:  Birth and Semen

    Islamic Middle East:  Veiled Separations

    Conclusions:  What Do Systems of Separation Mean?

    What Do You Think?

    Check Out These Books



Chapter 7.  A Third Sex?

    Gender as Alternative or Continuum

    Making Out and Making Up Sexes and Genders

    Crossing Over and Cross-Dressing

    Intersexed Children:  A Case for Consideration

    When Boys Will Be Girls

    Two-Spirits in Native North America

    A Fourth Sex?  Transgender Females

    Women Loving Women

    Conclusions beyond the Categories of Sex, Gender, and Desire

    Important Books beyond the National Attitude


Chapter 8.  Life’s Lesions

    Suffering and Healing

    Women’s Wounds

    Paths to Authority

    Gendering Religions

    Healers and Healing

    Visiting Spirits

    To Conclude

    What Do You Think?

    A Field Full of Books to Read


Chapter 9.  Who Owns Her Body?

    Challenges to Cultural Relativism

    Human Rights and Cultural Relativism

    The “Nature” of Violence

    A Worldwide Case:  Wife Beating and Wife Battering

    Another Worldwide Case:  International Sexual Services

    Case Study Number 1:  Rape on a University Campus

    Case Study Number 2:  Disappeared and Endangered Daughters

    Case Study Number 3:  Genital Cutting

    Women’s Rights and Critical Cultural Relativism

    What Do You Think?

    Books to Empower Us


Chapter 10.  Invisible Workers

    Women as the Earth’s Last Colony

    Characteristics of Women’s Lives in the Last Colony

    International Strategies for Solving the Problem(s) of Women

    A Marxist-Feminist Thinks about Women and Work

    Women’s Powers as the Roots of Grass

    Conclusions in the Post-Modern Manner

    What Do You Think?

    Reading, Writing, and Resistance



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