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Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective, 6th Edition

By Caroline B. Brettell, Carolyn F. Sargent

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Jul 25, 2012

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Introduces students to the most significant topics in anthropology of gender.


Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective is a one-volume reader built on classic contributions to gender and anthropology, incorporating recent literature on gender roles and ideology around the world.


It combines theoretically and ethnographically-based essays and is appropriate for undergraduate and beginning graduate students.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

  • Name the most significant topics in anthropology of gender
  • Discuss the questions raised by the authors in each section
  • Understand issues of gender in industrial society and developing societies

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Table of Contents

Found in this Section:

1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents




About the Authors   


I. Biology, Gender, and Human Evolution   

II. Gender and Prehistory   

III. Domestic Worlds and Public Worlds   

IV. Equality and Inequality: The Sexual Division of Labor and Gender

V. The Cultural Construction of Gender and Personhood   

VI. Culture, Sexuality, and the Body   

VII. Gender, Property, and the State   

VIII. Gender, Household, and Kinship   

IX. Gender, Ritual, and Religion   

X. Gender, Politics, and Reproduction   

XI. Gender and the Global Economy   





About the Authors   


I. Biology, Gender, and Human Evolution   

Animal Models and Gender

Marlene Zuk

Delusions of Gender: What Does it All Mean Anyway? and Brain Scams   

Cordelia Fine

Gender and War: Are Women Tough Enough for Military Combat?

Lucinda J. Peach

Lifeboat Ethics: Mother Love and Child Death in Northeast Brazil   

Nancy Scheper-Hughes

The Cultural Nexus of Aka Father—Infant Bonding   

Barry S. Hewlett


II. Gender and Prehistory   

The Past is a Foreign Country: Archaeology of Sex and Gender   

Rosemary A. Joyce

The Fashioning of Women   

J. M Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page

Inca Gender Relations: From Household to Empire   

R. Alan Covey


III. Domestic Worlds and Public Worlds   

The Domestic Sphere of Women and the Public World of Men: The Strengths and Limitations of an Anthropological Dichotomy   

Louise Lamphere

From “Private” Affairs to “Public” Scandals: The Modern Woman’s Challenge to Husband’s Infidelities in Uganda   

Shanti Parikh

Fatherhood and the Mediating Role of Women   

Nicholas W. Townsend

Marriage, Modernity and Migration: Changing Dynamics of Intimacy in a Mexican Transnational Community

Jennifer S. Hirsch   


IV. Equality and Inequality: The Sexual Division of Labor and Gender Stratification   

Woman the Hunter: The Agta   

Agnes Estioko-Griffin and P. Bion Griffin

Gender, Horticulture, and the Division of Labor on Vanatinai   

Maria Lepowsky

Do Tents and Herds Still Matter? Pastoral Nomadism and Gender among the Tuareg in Niger and Mali   

Susan Rasmussen

Gender, Business, and Space Control: Yoruba Market Women and Power   

Toyin Falola


V. The Cultural Construction of Gender and Personhood   

My Encounter with Machismo in Spain   

David D. Gilmore

Rituals of Manhood: Male Initiation in Papua New Guinea   

Gilbert H. Herdt

The Named and the Nameless: Gender and Person in Chinese Society   

Rubie S. Watson

Gender and the Stories Pittsburgh Police Officers Tell about Using Physical Force   

Bonnie MCElhinny

Surgical Transformation in the Pursuit of Gender

Lauren E. Gulbas   


VI. Culture, Sexuality, and the Body    

Is There a Muslim Sexuality? Changing Constructions of Sexuality in Egyptian Bedouin Weddings   

Lila Abu-Lughod

From Pollution to Love Magic: The New Anthropology of Menstruation   

Alma Gottlieb

Hijras: An “Alternative” Sex/Gender in India   

Gayatri Reddy and Serena Nanda

Constructing the Lesbian Body: The Worker Community of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival   

Alexis Matza


VII. Gender, Property, and the State   

Encountering the State: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Women’s Political Experience   

Josephine Caldwell Ryan

Japanese Mothers and Obentos: The Lunch-Box as Ideological State Apparatus   

Anne Allison

"Single Women are Bitter”: The Gendered Production of Affective States in Chile

Nia C. Parson

Women’s Autonomy, Islam, and the French State

John R. Bowen


VIII. Gender, Household, and Kinship   

What to do with Unmarried Daughters? Modern Solutions to a Traditional Dilemma in a Polyandrous Tibetan Society

Geoff Childs, Melvyn G. Goldstein, and Puchung Wangdui

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Labyrinth of Working and Parenting in a Poor Community   

Sharon Hicks-Bartlett

Rethinking Caribbean Families: Extending the Links   

Mary Chamberlain

Resignation and Refusal: The Moral Calculus of Lesbian and Gay Parenthood in the US   

Ellen Lewin


IX. Gender, Ritual, and Religion   

Spirit Possession and Gender Complementarity: Zâr in Rural Northern Sudan   

Janice Boddy

“Tradition” and Threat: Women’s Obscenity in Giriama Funerary Rituals   

Janet MCIntosh

Shamans, Bodies, and Sex: Misreading a Korean Ritual   

Laurel Kendall

How to Change a Man: Spiritual Transformation and Shifts in Gender Ideology in Evangelical El Salvador   

José Leonardo Santos


X. Gender, Politics, and Reproduction   

Natural Birth at the Turn of the 21st Century: Implications for Gender   

Margaret MacDonald

Political Demography: The Banning of Abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania   

Gail Kligman

Surrogate Motherhood: Rethinking Biological Models, Kinship, and Family   

Heléna Ragoné

Female Genital Cutting: Culture and Controversy   

Ellen Gruenbaum


XI. Gender and the Global Economy   

Enter Microcredit: A New Culture of Women’s Empowerment in Rajasthan

Megan Moodie

Factory as Home and Family: Female Workers in the Moroccan Garment Industry  

M. Laetitia Cairoli

Sexuality and Discipline among Filipina Domestic Workers in Hong Kong  

Nicole Constable

Migration, Money and Masculinity in Kerala

Caroline Osella and Filippo Osella

Sex Tourism, Globalization, and Transnational Imaginings   

Denise Brennan


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    Nancy Bonvillain

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