Gender and Jewelry: A Feminist Analysis (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Rebecca Ross Russell, Jun 5, 2010 - Social Science - 140 pages
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Jewelry responds to our most primitive urges, for control, honor, and sex. It is at once the most ancient and most immediate of art forms, one that is defined by its connection and interaction with the body. In this sense it is inescapably political, its meaning bound to the possibilities of the body it lies on. Indeed, the fate of the body is often bound to the jewelry. This study looks at gender and jewelry in order to gain some understanding into how jewelry is constructed by and constructs not just a single society, but human societies. It will explore how societal traditions that have sprung up around jewelry and ornamentation have affected the possibilities available to women across a broad spectrum of social and ethnic circumstances, determining which have served women well and which are constrictive and destructive. It also examines the possibilities for the intentional creation of feminist jewelry, including an overview of the author's own work.
  

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Contents

Holocaust Jewelry
58
43 Physical and Conceptual Empowerment Survey
61
Madeleine Albright
77
45 Physical and Conceptual Empowerment Conclusions
80
51 Introduction to Intersectional Case Studies
83
Palestinian Inheritance
86
Western Body Piercing
89
61 Feminist Jewelry Introduction
93

Indian WifeWidow Jewelry
29
25 Ownership and Incapacitation Conclusions
32
3 1 Gendered Honor and Status Introduction
36
Headhunter Jewelry
37
33 Gendered Honor and Status Survey
40
Diamond Engagement Rings
50
35 Gendered Honor and Status Conclusions
55
41 Physical and Conceptual Empowerment Introduction
57
62 Explicit Discussion of Gender
95
63 Problematizing of Specific Practices
98
64 As Source of Alternative Narrative
100
65 Jewelry for the WearerSubversion of the Gaze
106
66 Conclusions
109
Appendix I
111
Appendix II
124

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About the author (2010)

Rebecca Ross Russell is a graduate of Tufts University's prestigious combined degree program in conjunction with the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, graduating with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in metalworking and jewelry and a Bachelor's of Arts with a major in Women's Studies. This project grew out of an ongoing process of questioning the societal underpinnings of her chosen medium, one she has worked in since her early teenage years. It is her deeply held hope that this will serve as an invitation for more critical reflection, from the scholarly community as well as from conscientious jewelers, on the origins of jewelry traditions and on the political and social statements (often unconsciously) conveyed through choice of adornment.

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