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The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader

Dorothy L. Hodgson

Publication Date - 30 October 2015

ISBN: 9780190201777

496 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Introduces students to contemporary debates and perspectives in the study of gender, culture, and power through short and engaging articles


The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader explores different approaches to the study and conceptualization of gender, the value and limitations of gender as an analytic category, and the theoretical insights about gender produced by ethnographic research into the everyday lives, labors, loves, and livelihoods of people throughout the world. Why does gender "matter"? How are dominant ideas and practices of gender perceived, produced, experienced, and contested in different societies? How does ethnographic research provide access to these stories, perspectives, and experiences? What is the relationship between evidence and theory? The Gender, Culture, and Power Reader addresses these questions and more. Expertly edited by Dorothy L. Hodgson, this diverse reader includes both classical debates and relevant contemporary topics like gender-based violence and human rights.

About the Author(s)

Dorothy Hodgson is Professor and Graduate Program Director in the Department of Anthropology at Rutgers University. She is the author of several books, including Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous: Postcolonial Politics in a Neoliberal World (2011) and The Church of Women: Gendered Encounters between Maasai and Missionaries (2005).


"The approach of this book is engaged, political, and theoretical. It looks like a perfect fit for my course."--Angela Montague, University of Oregon

"This reader clearly outshines those currently available. Its organization and scope, and certainly its currency, are its chief strengths. I am impressed with the multi-dimensionality of Hodgson's approach to gender, the book's strong global reach, and the range of ethnographic articles. Its best feature is that it brings together current literature with a solid ethnographic foundation, with excellent introduction to theory and critiques of gender approaches."--Melinda Leach, University of North Dakota

"This book is a very welcome addition the study of gender in anthropology. It appears to have it all--an updated approach, well-organized sections, a good narrative to the study of gender in anthropology, and broad-ranging and diverse subjects that ought to interest students."--Jennifer Erickson, Ball State University

Table of Contents

    Key Terms
    About the Editor

    Part I. Key Debates, Past and Present

    1. Challenging Universals
    1.1 Is Female to Male as Nature is to Culture? ~ Sherry B. Ortner
    1.2 Female Forms of Power and the Myth of Male Dominance: A Model of Female/Male Interaction in Peasant Society ~ Susan Carol Rogers
    1.3 Lifeboat Ethics: Mother Love and Child Death in Northeast Brazil ~ Nancy Scheper-Hughes

    2. Power, Agency, Structure
    2.1 The Romance of Resistance: Tracing Transformations of Power Through Bedouin Women ~ Lila Abu-Lughod
    2.2 Feminist Theory, Embodiment, and the Docile Agent: Some Reflections on the Egyptian Islamic Revival ~ Saba Mahmood
    2.3 Transnational Surrogacy in India: Interrogating Power and Women's Agency ~ Daisy Deomampo

    3. Gender, Sex, and Sexuality
    3.1 The Gender of Brazilian Transgendered Prostitutes ~ Don Kulick
    3.2 "Playing with Fire": The Gendered Construction of Chicana/Mexicana Sexuality ~ Patricia Zavella
    3.3 On the Edge of Respectability: Sexual Politics in China's Tibet ~ Charlene E. Makley

    4. Complicating Gender
    4.1 "Like a Mother to Them": Stratified Reproduction and West Indian Childcare Workers and Employers in New York ~ Shellee Colen
    4.2 Ethnically Correct Dolls: Toying with the Race Industry ~ Elizabeth Chin
    4.3 "Strong Women" and "Pretty Girls": Self-Provisioning, Gender, and Class Identity in Rural Galicia ~ Sharon R. Roseman

    5. Politics of Representation
    5.1 Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourses ~ Chandra Mohanty
    5.2 A Home Girl Goes Home: Black Feminism and the Lure of Native Anthropology ~ Cheryl R. Rodriguez
    5.3 Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? ~ Lila Abu-Lughod

    Part II. Becoming/Being Gendered

    6. Growing up Gendered
    6.1 Growing Girls/Closing Circles: Limits on the Spaces of Knowing in Rural Sudan and U.S. Cities ~ Cindi Katz
    6.2 "Do it for all your Pubic Hairs": Latino Boys, Masculinity and Puberty ~ Richard Mora
    6.3 Trans Youth, Science and Art: Creating (Trans) Gendered Space ~ Alison Rooke

    7. Language and Performance
    7.1 Anger, Gender, Language Shift and the Politics of Revelation in a Papua New Guinean Village ~ Don Kulick
    7.2 Performing Gender Identity: Young Men's Talk and the Construction of Heterosexual Masculinity ~ Deborah Cameron
    7.3 Do Clothes Make the Woman?: Gender, Performance Theory, and Lesbian Eroticism ~ Kath Weston

    8. Bodies / Embodiment
    8.1 Weighty Subjects: The Biopolitics of the US War on Fat ~ Susan Greenhalgh
    8.2 Middle-Class Compassion and Man Boobs ~ Thaïs Machado-Borges
    8.3 The Production of Possession: Spirits and the Multinational Corporation in Malaysia ~ Aihwa Ong

    9. Mediated Lives
    9.1 Warriors, Hunters, and Bruce Lee: Gendered Agency and the Transformation of Amazonian Masculinity ~ Casey High
    9.2 Women on the Market: Marriage, Consumption, and the Internet in Urban Cameroon ~ Jennifer Johnson-Hanks
    9.3 Negotiating Identities/Queering Desires: Coming Out Online and the Remediation of the Coming-Out Story ~ Mary Gray

    Part III. Gendered Negotiations

    10. Gender at Home
    10.1 "Gone to Their Second Husbands": Marital Metaphors and Conjugal Contracts in the Gambia's Female Garden Sector ~ Richard Schroeder
    10.2 Black Women Have Always Worked: Is There a Work-Family Conflict Among the Black Middle Class? ~ Riché J. Daniel Barnes
    10.3 Scoring Men: Vasectomies, Gender Relations and Male Sexuality in Oaxaca ~ Matthew C. Gutmann

    11. Gender at Work
    11.1 Designing Women: Corporate Discipline and Barbados's Off-Shore Pink-Collar Sector ~ Carla Freeman
    11.2 Mothering, Work, and Gender in Urban Asante Ideology and Practice ~ Gracia Clark
    11.3 Man Enough To Let My Wife Support Me: Gender and Unemployment Among Middle-Class U.S. Tech Workers ~ Carrie M. Lane

    12. Gendered States
    12.1 State versus Islam: Malay Families, Women's Bodies, and the Body Politic in Malaysia ~ Aihwa Ong
    12.2 Creating Citizens, Making Men: The Military and Masculinity in Bolivia ~ Lesley Gill
    12.3 The Intimacy of State Power: Marriage, Liberation, and Socialist Subjects in Southeastern China ~ Sara L. Friedman

    Part IV. Gender Matters

    13. Global Connections of Life, Labor and Love
    13.1 Filipina Migrants in Rural Japana and Their Professions of Love ~ Lieba Faier
    13.2 "Now I Am a Man and a Woman!": Gendered Moves and Migrations in a Transnational Mexican Community ~ Deborah A. Boehm
    13.3 Homeland Beauty: Transnational Longing and Hmong American Video ~ Louisa Schein

    14. Structures of Violence
    14.1 The Intimacies of Power: Rethinking Violence and Affinity in the Bolivian Andes ~ Krista Van Vleet
    14.2 Reconstructing Masculinities: The Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia ~ Kimberly Theidon
    14.3 The Construction of Indigenous Suspects: Militarization and the Gendered and Ethnic Dynamics of Human Rights Abuses in Southern Mexico ~ Lynn Stephen

    15. Politics of Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions
    15.1 Feminist Negotiations: Contesting Narratives of the Campaign against Acid Violence in Bangladesh ~ Elora Halim Chowdhury
    15.2 "These Are not Our Priorities": Maasai Women, Human Rights, and the Problem of Culture ~ Dorothy L. Hodgson
    15.3 International Human Rights, Gender-Based Violence, and Local Discourses of Abuse in Postconflict Liberia: A Problem of "Culture"? ~ Sharon Abramowitz and Mary H. Moran

    Author Bios
    Additional Resources for Teaching and Learning

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