This book explores the history of African womanhood in colonial Kenya. By focussing on key sociocultural institutions and practices around which the lives of women were organized, and on the protracted debates that surrounded these institutions and practices during the colonial period, it investigates the nature of indigenous, mission, and colonial control of African women.
The pertinent institutions and practices include the legal and cultural status of women, clitoridectomy, dowry, marriage, maternity and motherhood, and formal education. By following the effects of the all-pervasive ideological shifts that colonialism produced in the lives of women, the study investigates the diverse ways in which a woman’s personhood was enhanced, diminished, or placed in ambiguous predicaments by the consequences, intended and unintended, of colonial rule as administered by both the colonizers and the colonized. The study thus tries to historicize the reworkings of women’s lives under colonial rule. The transformations that resulted from these reworkings involved the negotiation and redefinition of the meaning of individual liberties and of women’s agency, along with the reconceptualization of kinship relations and of community.
These changes resulted in—and often resulted from—increased mobility for Kenyan women, who were enabled to cross physical, cultural, economic, social, and psychological frontiers that had been closed to them prior to colonial rule. The conclusion to which the experiences of women in colonial Kenya points again and again is that for these women, the exercise of individual agency, whether it was newly acquired or repeatedly thwarted, depended in large measure on the unleashing of forces over which no one involved had control. Over and over, women found opportunities to act amid the conflicting policies, unintended consequences, and inconsistent compromises that characterized colonial rule.
This book is freely available in an open access edition thanks to TOME (Toward an Open Monograph Ecosystem)— a collaboration of the Association of American Universities, the Association of University Presses, and the Association of Research Libraries—and the generous support of the University of California, Davis. Learn more at the TOME website, available at: openmonographs.org.
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In the Anglo-Atlantic world of the late nineteenth century, groups of urban residents struggled to reconstruct their cities in the wake of industrialization and to create the modern city. New professional men wanted an orderly city that functioned for economic development. Women’s vision challenged the men’s right to reconstruct the city and resisted the prevailing male idea that women in public caused the city’s disorder.
Constructing the Patriarchal City compares the ideas and activities of men and women in four English-speaking cities that shared similar ideological, professional, and political contexts. Historian Maureen Flanagan investigates how ideas about gender shaped the patriarchal city as men used their expertise in architecture, engineering, and planning to fashion a built environment for male economic enterprise and to confine women in the private home. Women consistently challenged men to produce a more equitable social infrastructure that included housing that would keep people inside the city, public toilets for women as well as men, housing for single, working women, and public spaces that were open and safe for all residents.
Strikingly, scant attention has focused on the victimization of women who want to leave their hostile partners. This groundbreaking work challenges the perception that rural communities are safe havens from the brutality of urban living. Identifying hidden crimes of economic blackmail and psychological mistreatment, and the complex relationship between patriarchy and abuse, Walter S. DeKeseredy and Martin D. Schwartz propose concrete and effective solutions, giving voice to women who have often suffered in silence.
South Korea is home to one of the most vibrant evangelical Protestant communities in the world. This book investigates the meanings of—and the reasons behind—an intriguing aspect of contemporary South Korean evangelicalism: the intense involvement of middle-class women. Drawing upon extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Seoul that explores the relevance of gender and women’s experiences to Korean evangelicalism, Kelly H. Chong not only helps provide a clearer picture of the evangelical movement’s success in South Korea, but interrogates the global question of contemporary women’s attraction to religious traditionalisms.In highlighting the growing disjunction between the forces of social transformation that are rapidly liberalizing modern Korean society, and a social system that continues to uphold key patriarchal structures on both societal and familial levels, Chong relates women’s religious involvement to the contradictions of South Korea’s recent socio-cultural changes and complex engagement with modernity. By focusing on the ways in which women’s religious participation constitutes—both spiritually and institutionally—an important part of their effort to negotiate the problems and dilemmas of contemporary family and gender relations, this book explores the contradictory significance of evangelical beliefs and practices for women, which simultaneously opens up possibilities for gender negotiation/resistance, and for women’s redomestication.
Family forms are changing rapidly in Western society, and with them, the microenvironments within which men, women, and children live together. Stuart Aitken argues that, whether environment is taken as physical space or as a metaphor for the social, economic, and psychological basis of families, there remains a tendency to keep defining the meaning of families and communities in terms of older, traditional, "imagined," and idealized structures of politics, gender, and geography.
Using the stories of several families in San Diego, Aitken describes geographies of everyday life that contest definitions of cities and communities as mosaics reflecting patterns of social relations. He begins inside the family circle, looking at patriarchal power and the subordination of women, men, and children. Moving beyond the household, he then stresses the importance of place in defining the social and political character of communities and families' interplay within them--whether "communities" are viewed as neighborhoods, towns, or organizations that provide space for fellowship and common purpose. In turn, he shows that as the individual child reaches beyond family life to find a place in these communities, political cultures are reproduced through the child.
Aitken suggests ways in which individual and family identities are complexly intertwined with the cultural politics of communities, cities, and regions. He concludes that family and community spaces reproduce and reconstruct themselves daily according to divisions of race, class, gender, and differential access to housing, work, and child-care.
Contributors. Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, Sita Aripurnami, Jane Monnig Atkinson, Nancy K. Florida, Daniel S. Lev, Dédé Oetomo, Laurie J. Sears, Ann Laura Stoler, Saraswati Sunindyo, Julia I. Suryakusuma, Jean Gelman Taylor, Sylvia Tiwon, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Diane L. Wolf
The essays in Goddesses and Monsters recognize popular culture as a primary repository of ancient mythic energies, images, narratives, personalities, icons, and archetypes. Together, they take on the patriarchal myth, where serial killers are heroes, where goddesses—in the form of great white sharks, femmes fatales, and aliens—are ritually slaughtered, and where pornography is the core story underlying militarism, environmental devastation, and racism. They also point to an alternative imagination of female power that still can be found behind the cult devotion given to Princess Diana and animating all the goddesses disguised as popular monsters, queen bitches, mammies, vamps, cyborgs, and sex bombs.
Dore seamlessly combines archival research, oral history, and an innovative theoretical approach that unites political economy with social history. She recovers the bygone voices of peons, planters, and local officials within documents such as labor contracts, court records, and official correspondence. She juxtaposes these historical perspectives with those of contemporary peasants, landowners, activists, and politicians who share memories passed down to the present. The reconceptualization of the coffee economy that Dore elaborates has far-reaching implications. The Sandinistas mistakenly believed, she contends, that Nicaraguan capitalism was mature and ripe for socialist revolution, and after their victory in 1979 that belief led them to alienate many peasants by ignoring their demands for land. Thus, the Sandinistas’ myths of modernity contributed to their downfall.
Selling “genetically gifted” human eggs on the free market for a hefty price. In vitro fertilization. Fetal rights. Prenatal diagnosis. Surrogacy. All are instances of biomedical and social “advancements” with which we have become familiar in recent years. Yet these issues are often regarded as distinct or only loosely related under the rubric of reproduction.
Barbara Katz Rothman demonstrates how they form a complex whole that demands of us in response a woman-centered, class-sensitive way of understanding motherhood. We need a social policy for dealing with mothers and motherhood that is consistent with feminist politics and feminist theory. Her book show how we as a society must first recognize that the real needs of mother, father, and children have been swept aside in an attempt to reduce the complex process of human reproduction to a clinical event that can be controlled by medical technology. Rothman suggests ways to accomplish social and legal change that would allow technological advances to affirm motherhood and the mother-child relationship without cost to women’s identity.
This new edition of Recreating Motherhood contains exciting updates. Rothman shows how this material is key in understanding the family, not just motherhood. And a new chapter, “Reflections on a Decade,” explores how new reproductive technologies combine with new marketing and new genetics to pose troubling social questions.
The dominant trend in pastoralist studies has long assumed that pastoralism and pastoral gender relations are inherently patriarchal. The contributors to this collection, in contrast, use diverse analytic approaches to demonstrate that pastoralist gender relations are dynamic, relational, historical, and produced through complex local-translocal interactions. Combining theoretically sophisticated analysis with detailed case studies, this collection will appeal to those doing research and teaching in African studies, gender studies, anthropology, and history. Among the topics discussed are pastoralism, patriarchy, and history among Maasai in Tanganyika; women’s roles in peacemaking in Somali society; the fertility of houses and herds; gender, aging, and postchildbearing experience in a Tuareg community; and milk selling among Fulani women in Northern Burkina Faso.
A revealing foray into a lost time, Starring Women returns a generation of performers to their central place in the early history of American theater.
An inquiry into the phenomenology of “woman” based in the relationship between lived time and sexual violence
By focusing on time instead of space, When Time Warps places sexualized racism at the center of the way “woman” is lived. Burke transports questions of time and gender outside the realm of the historical, making provocative new insights into how gendered individuals live time, and how their temporal existence is changed through particular experiences.
Providing a potent reexamination of the theory of Simone de Beauvoir—while also bringing to the fore important women of color theorists and engaging in the temporal aspects of #MeToo—When Time Warps makes a necessary, lasting contribution to our understanding of gender, race, and sexual violence.
Pilar is a capable, energetic merchant in the small, Peruvian highland settlement of Chiuchin. Genovena, an unmarried day laborer in the same town, faces an impoverished old age without children to support her. Carmen is the wife of a prosperous farmer in the agricultural community of Mayobamba, eleven thousand feet above Chiuchin in the Andean sierra. Mariana, a madre soltera—single mother—without a husband or communal land of her own, also resides in Mayobamba.
These lives form part of an interlocking network that the authors carefully examine in Women of the Andes. In doing so, they explore the riddle of women’s structural subordination by analyzing the social, political, and economic realities of life in Peru. They examine theoretical explanations of sexual hierarchies against the backdrop of life histories. The result is a study that pinpoints the mechanisms perpetuating sexual repression and traces the impact of social change and national policy on women’s lives.
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