The Gender of the Gift: Problems with Women and Problems with Society in Melanesia

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University of California Press, Sep 15, 1988 - Social Science - 437 pages
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In the most original and ambitious synthesis yet undertaken in Melanesian scholarship, Marilyn Strathern argues that gender relations have been a particular casualty of unexamined assumptions held by Western anthropologists and feminist scholars alike. The book treats with equal seriousness—and with equal good humor—the insights of Western social science, feminist politics, and ethnographic reporting, in order to rethink the representation of Melanesian social and cultural life. This makes The Gender of the Gift one of the most sustained critiques of cross-cultural comparison that anthropology has seen, and one of its most spirited vindications.
 

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Contents

Anthropological Strategies
3
A Place in the Feminist Debate
22
PART ONE
41
Groups Sexual Antagonism in the New Guinea Highlands
43
Domains Male and Female Models
66
Power Claims and Counterclaims
98
Work Exploitation at Issue
133
PART TWO
169
Forms Which Propagate
225
Cause and Effect
268
CONCLUSION
307
Domination
309
Comparison
340
Notes
345
Bibliography
385
Author Index
409

Some Definitions
171
Relations Which Separate
191

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