Ungendering Civilization

Front Cover
K. Anne Pyburn
Psychology Press, 2004 - Social Science - 242 pages
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Ungendering Civilisation offers a much needed scrutiny of the role of women in the evolution of states. The contributors critically addresses traditional views of male and female roles; they argue for the possibility that the root cause of gender subordination in the modern world was the loss of kin-based power structures during early state formation, rather than 'innate' tendencies to domesticity and child-rearing in women, and leadership and aggression in men. Ech of the nine papers examines a distinct body of archaeological data - from societies including Predynastic Egypt, Minoan Crete, ancient Zimbabwe and the Maya - to determine what the facts actually show. The volume also provides a useful insight into why many academics have continued to base their interpretations of early societies on apparently outdated theories. By analysing the intellectual history of catagories such as race, gender, and chiefdom, the political usefulness that has maintained the popularity of such catagories among western academics is exposed. This collection shows that cultural evolutionism is not benign; it sustains political views about gender, race, and political economy that are not supported by r
 

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Contents

Rethinking complex society
1
Gender and agency in economic
47
The use and abuse of ethnographic analogies
71
The marauding pagan warrior woman
94
Tracing women in early Sumer
117
Reinterpreting
136
The benefits of an archaeology of gender
156
All the Harappan men are naked but the women
179
A meditation on Minoan civilization
196
Ungendering the Maya
216
Index
234
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