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Anthropology of Gender EXAM 1
Terms in this set (95)
the social and culturally produced ideas about the differences between males and females in a particular society
the traits a society or group assumes differentiate males and females
the study of human beings in all their diversity, both in the past and in the present, and in terms of biological, cultural, and linguistic similarities and differences
Biological anthropology, also known as physical anthropology, is a scientific discipline concerned with the biological and behavioral aspects of human beings, their related non-human primates and their extinct hominin ancestors.
the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites and the analysis of artifacts and other physical remains.
the study of humankind, in particular.
- the comparative study of human societies and cultures and their development.
noun: cultural anthropology
the study of language and of the way languages work
the very idea of what it means to be a female or male, feminine or masculine
Gender role expectations
the social skills, abilities, and behaviors thought appropriate to members of a society or group depending on whether they are female or male
a system of institutionalized inequalities that differently grants access to resources, power, prestige, and opportunities on the basis of whether a person is female or male
a term with no one simple definition but one that's often used descriptively to refer to a set of processes that have given rise to a widening, deepening, and accelerating of worldwide interconnections in all aspects of contemporary life. It is characterized by the worldwide spread of people, ideas, beliefs, goods, images, and technology
the ability to act effectively and the capacity to exercise control over oneself and others
social factors such as gender, "race," and class that differentially position men and women in relationship to power, opportunities, and access to privilege and rewards
a social category that uses arbitrary external physical characteristics to categorize humans into what are mistakenly thought to be biologically distinct human groups
people classified together into groups (classes) in a system of stratification based on a combination of factors, which most often include access to a society's means and modes of economic production, level of education, and cultural practices such as taste and style
First wave feminism
the equal rights movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the US and Europe. In the US, this movement culminated in women gaining the right to vote.
Second wave feminism
the women's liberation movement that emerged in the late 1960's and 1970's. Large scale rethinking of anthropology that ultimately led to the development of the anthropology of gender and difference
Feminist anthropology is a four-field approach to anthropology (archeological, biological, cultural, linguistic) that seeks to reduce male bias in research findings, anthropological hiring practices, and the scholarly production of knowledge.
Third wave feminism
a feminist movement comprised of young women born in the US after 1970 who have grown up with the ideas of feminism and wish to define what feminism means for them in their own terms
dominated by, or emphasizing, male-centered interests or a male-centered point of view
the descriptive accounts anthropologists write about their work in other cultures based on fieldwork. (The research anthropologists conduct during fieldwork is often referred to as "doing ethnography")
the research anthropologists undertake with the people they study, usually based on participating with and observing those people in their own society
living with, taking part in, and observing a society firsthand as the means for anthropologists to gain intimate knowledge of another culture
understanding and interpreting the beliefs and behaviors of another culture on its own terms
using one's own societal values to judge those of another society
anthropology committed not just to studying but also to overcoming political domination of the people anthropologists study
the belief that all people have an equal entitlement to the dignity that is "inalienable" that is, cannot be taken away
the rights + freedoms to which cultures are entitled, enabling the group to preserve its own customs, language, and way of life
Women's rights (abuses)
when women are deprived of human dignity and other basic rights for no other reason than their gender
the muslim practice of dressing modestly usually associated with wearing a veil / headscarf
Female genital cutting/ mutilation
a range of operations where the genitals of girls / women are surgically altered
a controversy over whether humans think or act in certain ways because of some inherent nature or because of the environment in which they are reared and nurtured
the belief that human behaviors are caused by biological factors
making the unequal distribution of power, privileges, and resources among social groups appear as natural and inevitable by attributing differences to innate factors
individuals who, because of an anomalous chromosomal makeup and anatomical sex organs, make their clear assignment into the category of "male" or "female" difficult
the first school of anthropological theory. It proposed a hierarchical model for understanding similarities and differences among human societies in which those societies at the top were seen as more evolved than those at the bottom, having won out over them through a fierce struggle for survival
a system of society or government ruled by a woman or women.
- a form of social organization in which descent and relationship are reckoned through the female line.
- the state of being an older, powerful woman in a family or group.
a system of reckoning ancestry by tracing it through the female line
the branch of anthropology concerned with fossil hominids.
the branch of zoology that deals with primates.
Man the Hunter
an explanation that posits male hunting as the central force in the evolution of the human intellect and emotions as well as in a wide-range of human cultural behaviors and aspects of human social organization
HE WAS THE HUNTER GUY. CHECK THIS ONE IN THE BOOK an American physical anthropologist and pioneer in the field of primatology, opening it to the study of primates in their natural habitats. His research and influence in the comparative analysis of primate behaviors to theories of human origins established a new course of study within the field of human evolution.
proposed the model of evolution called Man the Hunter with his partner Washburn. Thought that everything about basic social life (intellect interests, emotions) are all products of successful hunting adaption.
- Asserted that language arose because it allowed for communication for hunting groups
- tell us that enjoyment from the hunt is the reward for killing. And that this is why hunting is still a sport
developed the Man the Provisioner human evolution model in 1981. Granted the importance of gathering to early hominid development but posits that it was primarily males not females who acquired foods based on this subsistence technique.
Disseminated by "Lucy: The beginnings of Humankind"
- theorist who focused on bipedalism + tended to emphasize a suite of behavior changes that enabled our hominid ancestors to evolove
Man the Provisioner
a model of human evolution that posits female/ child dependency on foods gathered by males as the central force in the evolution of humans. In return for such food, a female would pair-bond with the male provider, offering sex in exchange
(similar to the food-for-sex hypothesis)
the hypothetical scenario that posits that, in the evolutionary past, females exchanged sex for food provided by males, allowing for the evolution of the human species. This hypothesis is at the basis of both the Man the Hunter and the Man the Provisioner models of human evolution
Woman the Gatherer
an explanation that posits women's gathering of plant foods as the central force in the evolution of the human intellect and emotions as well as in a wide-range of aspects of human cultural behavior as aspects of human social organization.
an academic discipline begun by E.O. Wilson in the 1970s that posits natural selection as the force leading to the development of nearly all aspects of social behavior in animals, including humans
a mechanism of evolutionary change that results from individuals choosing a mate based on the "attractiveness" of certain traits
a reproductive strategy characterized by few offspring who are heavily invested in to ensure that they live and grow to reproductive maturity.
many offspring are produced with an investment of very little energy in any one of them
a recently developed academic field growing out of sociobiology that explains human emotions, human psychological characteristics, and almost every conceivable human behavior in terms of the adaptive advantage they confer to individuals possessing them
roles that transcend binary opposition of male and female, man and woman
refers to erotic desires, sexual practices, and sexual orientation
it's a dimension but not a defining element of a person
A sexual preference for a partner of the same or opposite sex
a person whose sexual orientation entails sexual desires towards a person of the same sex/ gender
a person whose sexual orientation entails sexual desires towards a person of the opposite sex
A sex/ gender ideology in which males who take the receptor role in same-sex sexual relations are also expected to, and do, adopt feminine behaviors
a derogatory European term for transgendered Native Americans, now called two-spirit
a widespread contemporary label for Native American male and female variants, previously called berdache
coined in 1990 + has the advantage of conveying the spiritual nature of gender variance in both traditional + contemporary Native American societies
the designation of a variety of sex/ gender variants among the Navajo
a male gender variant among the Mohave Indians
a female gender variant among the Mohave Indians
a male sex/ gender variant, neither man nor woman, in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
a female gender variant associated with virginity in India
(in Hinduism and Buddhism) a spiritual teacher, especially one who imparts initiation.
an important part of Indian + Bangladesh hijras. Belong to organized "houses," the maintenance of recognized spatial boundaries within which they work, origin stories recognizing a Mother Goddess (pg 40)
metaphor of kinship - "mother, daughter and sister"
brazilian (and other South American countries) transvestite (male at birth) where sexuality is central to identity and relationships and assumptions of female role. Appearance is enhanced by hormones and plastic surgery, but usually not interested in sex changes/ reassignment
- generally not associated with intersex people
- connected to a local socio-political identity.
- often work as prostitutes and may support "boyfriends"
"bug" same definition as "tranvesti" = a male transgendered role in Brazil
"deer" same definition as "tranvesti" = a male transgendered role in Brazil
+ is homosexual
An afro-Brazilian religion in which women and gender variants play important leadership roles
a primarily male gender variant in Tahiti and Hawai'i
Fa'afafine are Samoan biological males who behave in a range of feminine-gendered ways. They have been an integrated part of Samoan communities for centuries. 'Fa'afafine' translates as 'in the manner of a woman'.
state of being "betwixt + between" social categories (male and female, child and adult)
think of a person standing in a door way neither in or out
(ex) a rites of passage
traditionally thought of as a "3rd sex" (hermaphrodite) within Theravada buddhism
+ taking on the roles and appearances of women but highlighting their sexuality
characterized as transgendered homosexuals - "ladyboys"
(BOOK DEF) A Thai gender variant, originally meaning hermaphrodite but now mainly referring to transgendered males
A transgendered man in the Philippines, the term varies by region
an androgynous shaman in Indonesia
a male bodied person who adopts a feminine persona in Indonesia
the Indonesian rendering of lesbian, defined as biological females who identify as men or masculine females
the female bodied, masculine preforming partner in a lesbian relationship in Thailand and Indonesia
the illegitimate male gender variant in 18th century England, practicing sodomy and adopting feminine behaviors
an (illegitimate) female gender variant role in 18th century London defined mainly by the adoption of masculine behavior
a female-to-male transgendered role in the Balkans
(in Euro-American culture) a person convinced he/she belongs to the gender opposite to that of his/ her anatomy
(postoperative: a transsexual who undergoes sex-reassignment surgery)
a term that includes a wide continuum of options, from individuals who wish to undergo sex reassignment surgery to those who wish to live their lives androgynously
the uniting of male and female
Gender and anthropology. Definitions of gender and sex differences. Anthropology: subfields and study of gender.
History of gender in anthropology. Feminist waves and study of gender in anthropology over 20th century. Topics within study of gender in anthropology.
Feminist waves: First, Second, and Third wave of feminism (memorize these separately)
Feminism and fieldwork. Basic concepts relating to fieldwork. Debates over human, cultural, and women's rights.
Gender and evolution. 19th century social evolutionism. Theories of human evolution and critique. Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology.
Evolutionary theories dominated social sciences in 19th century including anthropology
- 19th century social evolutionism: first major/ dominant school of anthropological theory
- Theories of human evolution and critique:
- Sociobiology and evolutionary psychology:
Sex/gender diversity. Sexuality and sexual orientation. Case studies and gender variant terms.
- (book definition) gender diversity / variation: sex/ gender systems that contain more than make and female, masculine and feminine categories
- Case studies:
- Native North America: sexuality is not central to defining gender for men + / women. (Spirituality) Gender variants sometimes associated with sacred power. Occupation is really emphasized
- Hindu India:
(hijras and sadhin) have a quasi-sacred role in Hindu beliefs. Socially organized into caste-like system. Take on elements of female identity (clothing, movements, overall appearances) but don't not physically (surgically) change into a woman
- Polynesia, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia:
"Limited Gender Roles"
Polynesian gender liminality involves temporary / regular appropriation of opposite gender role / appearance, but little consistency of ideology / roles
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