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Gender Across Cultures

by: London Nienow

Gender Across Cultures ANTH 23000

London Nienow
GPA 3.91

Evelyn Blackwood

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Evelyn Blackwood
Class Notes
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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by London Nienow on Saturday September 19, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ANTH 23000 at Purdue University taught by Evelyn Blackwood in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 108 views. For similar materials see /class/207853/anth-23000-purdue-university in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Purdue University.

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Date Created: 09/19/15
ANTH 230 STUDY GUIDE FOR EXAM NO 1 The following is a list of topics that you should be familiar with for the first exam These topics were covered in the lectures readings and videos As you study make notes of the important points for each topic 8262010 0 Hominid evolution in relation to diet tools brain size i 39 million years ago mya Australopithecines 1 Collected and shared plant food scavenged dead animals 2 Robust and gracile forms a b 24 mya Homo Habilis handyman Large jaws and small brains Environment savannah 1 Stone and bone tools campsites a Minimal shelter would return to it Members of family would stay Environment tropical and savannah areas Tools were used for chopping scraping and 0000quot Tlhook Bipedal breaking nuts 18 mya Homo Erectus Generalized foraging economy Bipedal about 5 12 feet to 6 feet tall Discovery of re Possible hunting of large animals Tools used for chopping and scraping iv 19 mya Homo Sapiens Modern 1 Burials hunting cave art 2 Number keeps being moved back v Brain size increased with each evolution 8262010 0 Models of human evolution Man the HunterWoman the Gatherer evidence for and against 0 Man the Hunter For The more meat consumed larger brain size Learned to hunt large game provision large groups Men would learn cooperation and communication through hunting more ef ciently out think animals Pair bonding relationships ensures male share meat 0 Infants had to be protected for a longertime o All females would stay at camp and men would hunt o Toolmaking Against 0 No mention of what women do as a driving force 0 Can t assume that meat was driving force because the tools found were only made of stone and didn t take into account of the bio degradable made tools used for gathering 0 Doesn t explain how women protected themselves 0 Doesn t take into account hair loss and how babies needed to be held since they could no longer grip with their feet onto hair 0 Assumes all females are pregnant or burdened with small infants at the same time 0 Dental evidence suggests omnivorous diet 0 We know from jaws of H Habilis and A Africanus that the molars are quite prominent and premolars Chewed a lot of tough ber 0 lfthey just ate meat the tearing teeth would be more prominent o Primate evidence 0 Only sporadic meat consumption 0 Predominately vegetarian 0 Little difference in food collecting behavior between males and females 0 Archeological record 0 No big game tools until at least 200000 BP Almost modern Homo Sapien o HunterGatherer evidence 0 Bulk ofdiet came from gathering lncludes modern huntergatherer societies ex kum san 0 Would be more suitable for females easy for them to stay fairly close to camp Males would travel farther away from camp 0 Women the Gatherer For 0 Females responsible for many innovations 0 Economic technological and social 0 Human evolution dependant on both sexes Against 0 Too much emphasis on women 0 Doesn t focus on the male perspective at all types of evidence used in each 8312010 0 Problem of gender in archaeology how to put gender into archaeology 0 First there is the challenge of recognizing and stripping away as much as possible the biased or implied gender reconstructions It s been said about the study of gender in archaeology that it s not so much a matter of adding gender but of re gendering the narratives or rethinking gender Second there is the matter of understanding more explicitly what gender is about so we can develop theories of gender or as some would argue theories about identity and difference that are useful in archaeological research Third there is the challenge of making explicit inferences about gender and about men and women using archaeological data to help answer questions concerning what might have happened in prehistory and in the historical past Lack of investigation into gender Skewed archeological record 0 Emphasizes hunting and toolmaking 0 Highlights activities associated with men Biased representations Women depicted in domestic tasks Men shown making and using tools Men active women passive Men innovate women follow Nonparallel interpretation of artifacts and roles Putting gender in archeology Needed to show that we could make inferences about gender about men and women and even about other gender systems and roles that were based on archaeological evidence or evidential constraints 0 O O O O Many researchers pursue how we might attribute gender to certain artifacts or burials or living spaces such as identifying men s houses or women s work spaces or women s artifacts How do systems of social inequality work and how do they draw upon and structure the daily and gendered practices of local people 8312010 0 Biases in the archaeological record what forms do they take 0 Biases tend to lean towards an andocentric centered or focused on men often to the neglect or exclusion of women approach Men were described with more detail and in more active terms using active verbs while women if portrayed or mentioned were presented as passive and by the use of more passive language 0 Bias can creep into archaeological and other accounts when the analysts don t consciously reflect upon their assumptions nor explicitly use some theoretical models about gender and social identity 0 Early studies in the practice of archaeology that looked at who it is that produces archaeological accounts showed the gender differentials and inequalities that had favored males Theories about Venus figures 0 Upper Paleolithic Venus figures 35000 to 15000 BP Europe Venus gures food belief faith 0 Venus gures and interprets bias A man drew a picture of whom he thought created the Vestonice Venus which was of an elderly man Emphasize sexual attributes Emphasize male artists Re ects contemporary assumptions about gender It was probably carved by a woman probably the priestess who used it They found animal and human figurines that were either horribly crafted or were created with the intention of hardening and exploding in the re Assumptions about and evidence for women rulers 0 One thing that seems fairly common to all the partly clad figurines is that when they wear hats or caps the facial details are absent This suggests a social importance to the headgear rather than an individual statement of personal identity 0 These various forms of headgear may speak to a particular status or rank enjoyed by at least some women Other forms of clothing or cloth decorations were found on figurines such as skirts straps and sometimes belts and cords 0 Such apparel only appears on female figurines o The garments portrayed are not the normal daily wear garments except for the woven hats 0 Could have been signs of status or ceremonial usage This apparel was a strictly women thing not worn by males which serves to immortalize the fact that such apparel set women or at least certain women apart in a social category of their own New gender interpretation 0 Figures are virtual objects that could be Fertility figures Menstruation Goddesses 0 Making things out of ber is not only a female based task Men make sandals forthemselves and their families There were bound to be some gender based tasks however there were also family members who helped with the day to day chores of life 0 Gender attributes of men and women in human prehistory Are there gender differences 0 Yes some the women typically gathered or hunted small prey ifthey were to hunt and they took care ofthe children Women typically stayed closer to camp while the men hunted farther away How are women typically portrayed 0 Women depicted in domestic tasks 0 Men shown making and using tools 0 Men active women passive 0 Men innovate women follow 0 Nonparallel interpretation of artifacts and roles Evidence for women hunters and toolmakers 0 Females breast feeding at the same time could share duties therefore allowing some mothers and other women to go hunt or gather Tools developed for collecting and carrying They disappeared from the archeological record because they were typically made from organic materials 0 Baskets and slings to carry children as well as a surplus of food 0 0 Women s agency and innovation in the archaeological record 972010 0 The gender focus has led not only to even more emphasis on the O microscale and the archaeology of everyday life it has also allowed forencouraged a link with others theoretical interests that have been reshaping archaeological inquiry In particular a concern with gender has fit well with and enhanced the adoption of some aspects of what s called practice theory by archaeologists in which simplistically put the concern is for understanding the everyday often unacknowledged social practices that not only constituted the social formation and cultures of the past but that also constituted the identities and social personae of the people ofthe past We should not assume that gender has always been there or even moreorless the same We should question the concept Archaeological inquiry into gender if it existed how it was practiced what it might have signified how it was de ned and performed what varieties of gender might have been at work in past societies Gender is mutable and as a distinct social concept may not have existed in the same terms as today if it even existed at all Concern with gender also facilitated an increasing archaeological interest in and engagement with broader social processes that archaeologists had heretofore often considered in simplistic terms It is increasingly clear that aspects ofone s identity such as age social positions but not necessarily socioeconomic class as in capitalist societies kinship wealth sexual orientations experience as well as something we might broadly considerto be genders were integral to how one s social status was determined and how societies worked Study of gender has helped to open other areas of study such as sexuality children and mothering 0 Relation between economic systems and the positions of women and men methodsto determine the relative positions of women and men The more wealth and stuff a woman has the more prominent her position will be and typically the same can also be said for men 0 Types of social organization Egalitarian o In this society there are no differences in power or status 0 Everyone is equal Strati ed systems o Hierarchicalranked Some differences in wealth and power Heads of lineage may have power 0 O 0 Class More signi cant inequalities and different access to power All in relation to wealth People have the ability to move between classes 0 Caste O O 0 Associated with countries in South Asia There is some ability to move between castes Castes are based off of occupation and religion 0 Slavery 0 Certain people have no rights Considered less than human Owned by another individual There is a chance to work self out of debt 0 O 0 OOO Marxist and prestige approaches i Marxist approach a A broad theory of how people produce their lives and what are the relationships between different people 1 Marxists approach examines economic relations b Access to and control of resources i Resources land water raw materials etc ii If you have access to these things then you have some power c Distribution of produce i Who owns and distributes produce d Conditions of labor e Control of ritual knowledge 2 In the US men are generally dominant ii Prestige system a Take account of cultural values i What s important in a particular culture 4 What are the most prestigious roles a EX In the US the most prestigious roles are i Doctor lawyer scholar government of cial pro athlete celebrity etc ii Male dominated in most fields 4 It will depend on the eld that one is looking at 5 Who has access to prestigious roles 6 What meanings are given to work a Women do a lot of domestic work but it isn t valued the same across cultures 7 Lifestyles of Foragers a Complex social lives b Least laborintensive subsistence c Basic tools d Seasonal migration 972010 and 992010 0 Economic systems ofthe Vanatinai lKung video Tuareg Agta Lifestyles ofhuntergatherers horticulturalists pastoralists o Agta Live in the Philippines Used to be strictly huntergatherers but now they are parttime horticulturalists o Supplementing wild plant foods with sweet potatoes corn cassava and rice 0 Some of them plant roots corn and banana stalks 0 Some preferto trade meat for grains and roots Move according to the seasons Temporary shelters Lived in small family kin groups camps o 25 families No decision maker 0 People can come and go whenever they want Women gather hunt sh process food and trade Men gather hunt sh process food and trade High level of group cooperation Low level of division of labor based on gender 0 Vanatinai Horticulturalists Shifting plant cultivation Foraging Hunting Permanent villages and dwellings Prestigious positions o Shifting cultivation 0 Clear an area for three or four years and then move on to another plot in a rotation o Engage in subsistence activities 0 Kids are expected to be responsible and to help out o Funerals are very heavily ritualized o Tuareg Nomadic Pastoralists Camel herders Tuareg men 0 Men veil their faces for protection from the elements 0 Tuareg women 0 Wear scarves and don t wear the facial veil o Tuareg society is somewhat strati ed 0 An Islamic society 0 Nonpermanent homes 0 Like tents o The men travel in caravans for months at a time 0 Economic activities 0 Men Own and tend cattle tend wives cattle grow millet cook meat sew caravan trading migrant labor and hold political of ce within the tribe 0 Political offices move patrilinially 0 Women Own and tend cattle make and sell milk and butter own and tend sheep and goats own tents make household goods and cook and sew Matrilineal society 0 Property goes from mothers to daughters 0 No strict rules about sexual fidelity 0 Women can take lovers when men are gone 0 lKung Huntergatherer society 0 Live in the Kalahari Desert 0 They follow water when it runs dry they pick up and move 0 They contain water in ostrich eggs o Arranged marriage occurs 0 Typically between children Ex Nisa the 50 yr old woman from the video was married when she was only 8 to a 13 yr old but did not sleep with him for a couple of yrs Important factors influencing social positions 0 Agta Social Positions Equivalent contributions of both women and men 0 Egalitarian There are no real prestigious roles 0 Everyone participates in the decision making therefore there are no real leaders 0 Vanatinai No real gender speci c tasks Plant cultivation Both men and women Harvesting Both Processing food Both Foraging Both but women do more Hunting and fishing Both but men hunt the larger animals with spears 0 Women don t use spears Childcare both but women do more Ceremonial exchange Both Big person Both Supernatural power Both The most influential role is as the Big Person which is open to both sexes Equal participation in ceremonies show that this is an egalitarian society 0 Tuareg O lKung The kinship has a lot to do with how they use the economic and religious systems Gender relations in pastoral societies 0 Pastoral societies raise and depend on various animals 0 Depends on 0 Type of subsistence Producing only what s needed for survival mixed or not 0 Ownership 0 Inheritancekinship system 0 Colonial relations They have healers who can be either male or female Men and women are treated fairly equally Men Provided the meat 0 Made tools 0 Maintained a supply of poison tipped arrows and spears Women 0 Spent 23 days per week foraging for roots nuts and berries 0 They contribute the majority ofthe food Conclusions what are women s economic contributions and their social position 0 Economic contributions aren t the only factor Women are contributing in every society in many ways so that means that economic status can t be the only factor 0 Kinship what leadership roles are available inheritance practices what property can they own 0 Generalizations about women s positions are difficult to make Women that contribute andor own a lot typically gain high status 9142010 0 De nitions of domestic and public 0 Domestic those minimal institutions and modes of activity that are organized immediately around one or more mothers and their children 0 Public activities institutions and forms of association that link rank organize or subsume particular motherchild groups More simply Men have no single commitment as enduring timeconsuming and emotionally compelling as close to seeming necessary and natural asthe relation ofa women to her infant child and so men are free to form those broader associations that we call society universalistic systems of order meaning and commitment that link particular mother child groups 0 Origins of the concept of domesticity 0 Women s domestic orientation was structurally and culturally constructed and insofar as woman is universally defined in terms of a largely maternal and domestic role we can account for her universal subordination However women are not powerless 0 They exercise informal influence and power often mitigating male authority or even rendering it trivial 0 Problems with the domesticpublic dichotomy 0 Can the domesticpublic dichotomy provide adequate descriptions of men s and women s spatial and functional relationships in our own and other societies 0 Has problems as an explanation of women s status One the inherent circularity ofthe model 0 A central point is to account forthe nature ofthese domains yet they are already assumed to exist widely and are treated as categories in terms of which women s activities such as food preparing cooking childcare and washing can be classified as opposed to male hunting warfare political councils The model can only af rm what has already been assumed that is that the disjunction between the domestic and poiticojural public is an intrinsic if variable fact of social existence Then the model is used to explain women s positions in different societies in relation to these two orientations the reasoning is equally circular o The claim that women become absorbed in domestic activities because of their role as mothers is tautological needless repetition ofthe same sense in different words redundancy given the definition of domestic as those minimal institutions and modes of activity that are organized immediately around one or more mothers and their children The concepts of domestic and public are too bound up in our own history and our own categories grounded particularly in a Victorian heritage We can not write an accurate history of the West in relation to the Rest until we stop assuming that our experiences subsume to include or place within something larger or more comprehensive everyone else s 0 Our publicprivate conflicts aren t necessarily the same as those of other times and places 0 We must simultaneously understand the differences and the similarities but not by reducing them to one simple pattern 0 Are there tasks that are always considered domestic o Childcare cleaning cooking etc 0 Can the domestic sphere be found everywhere 0 No In many cultures particularly those with an indigenous band or tribal structure a separation of domestic and public spheres makes no sense because household production was simultaneously public economic and political o Iroquois matrons were given de facto power to veto declarations ofwar and to intervene to bring about peace because they controlled the dispensation of the food they produced and meat 0 They also were considered house managers ofthe long house 0 In West Africa the public domain wasn t conceptualized as the world of men rather the public domain was one in which both sexes were recognized as having important roles to play However a more appropriate conception would be to recognize two domains one occupied by men and another by women both of which were internally ordered in a hierarchical fashion and both of which provided personnel for domestic and extradomestic or public activities


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