Female power and male dominance : on the origins of sexual inequality / Peggy Reeves Sanday.

by Sanday, Peggy ReevesLooking glass.

Publisher: Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1981.Description: xvii,295 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.ISBN: 0521280753; 9780521280754.Subject(s): Cross-cultural studiesLooking glass | Power (Social sciences)Looking glass | Sex (Psychology)Looking glass | Sex roleLooking glass | SexismLooking glass | Symbolism (Psychology)Looking glassNote: Bibliography: p275-283. _ Includes index.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In this book, Professor Peggy Sanday provides a ground-breaking examination of power and dominance in male-female relationships. How does the culturally approved interaction between the sexes originate? Why are women viewed as a necessary part of political, economic, and religious affairs in some societies but not in others? Why do some societies clothe sacred symbols of creative power in the guise of one sex and not of the other? Professor Sanday offers solutions to these cultural puzzles by using cross-cultural research on over 150 tribal societies. She systematically establishes the full range of variation in male and female power roles and then suggests a theoretical framework for explaining this variation. Rejecting the argument of universal female subordination, Professor Sanday argues that male dominance is not inherent in human relations but is a solution to various kinds of cultural strain. Those who are thought to embody, be in touch with, or control the creative forces of nature are perceived as powerful. In isolating the behavioural and symbolic mechanisms which institute male dominance, professor Sanday shows that a people's secular power roles are partly derived from ancient concepts of power, as exemplified by their origin myths. Power and dominance are further determined by a people's adaptation to their environment, social conflict, and emotional stress. This is illustrated through case studies of the effects of European colonialism, migration, and food stress, and supported by numerous statistical associations between sexual inequity and various cultural stresses.

Bibliography: p275-283. _ Includes index.

Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • List of tables and figures (p. xi)
  • Preface (p. xv)
  • Introduction (p. 1)
  • Part I Plans for sex-role behavior
  • 1 Scripts for female power (p. 15)
  • From "the complete perfect unity": the Balinese (p. 16)
  • The creative grandmother of the primeval sea: the Semang (p. 19)
  • Father, mother, lover, friend: the Mbuti (p. 21)
  • The mother of the earth beings who fell from the sky: the Iroquois (p. 24)
  • One couple from the sky and one couple from the earth: the Ashanti (p. 28)
  • The female creative principle (p. 33)
  • 2 Scripts for male dominance (p. 35)
  • Eve's transgression, God's punishment, and female power: the Hausa (p. 35)
  • The merging and splitting of animals, mothers, and males: the Mundurucu (p. 37)
  • Nullifying female power: the Papagoes (p. 41)
  • The fierce people: the Yanomamo (p. 45)
  • The psychological bedrock (p. 50)
  • Part II Constructing sex-role plans
  • 3 The environmental context of metaphors for sexual identities (p. 55)
  • Gender symbolism in creation stories: inward females and outward males (p. 57)
  • Male parenting and creation symbolism (p. 60)
  • The role of environment (p. 64)
  • Environment, origin beliefs, and history (p. 68)
  • Reflections of social life and thought in origin stories (p. 73)
  • 4 Plans for the sexual division of labor (p. 76)
  • The kinds of activities that are universally allocated to males (p. 77)
  • The cultural patterning of work (p. 79)
  • A third cultural configuration: the dual-sex orientation (p. 86)
  • Sex-role plans and configurations of culture (p. 89)
  • 5 Blood, sex, and danger (p. 91)
  • The body as symbol (p. 92)
  • The body in society and nature: the Andaman Islanders (p. 97)
  • Fluctuating food, warfare, and fear of fluxing women: the Bellacoola (p. 100)
  • Pollution of menstrual blood and sexual intercourse (p. 104)
  • Male and female worlds (p. 108)
  • Part III The women's world
  • 6 The bases for female political and economic power and authority (p. 113)
  • The ascribed bases for female economic and political authority (p. 115)
  • The case of the Abipon: female power and the hunter/warrior configuration (p. 120)
  • The achieved bases for female economic and political power (p. 124)
  • The ascribed and achieved bases for female public power and authority and increasing technological complexity (p. 128)
  • 7 The decline of the women's world: the effect of colonialism (p. 135)
  • The Igbo women's war (p. 136)
  • Handsome Lake and the decline of the Iroquois matriarchate (p. 141)
  • Female power and movement onto the Great Plains: the Lords of the Plains and the Sacred Buffalo Hat (p. 143)
  • The movement of foragers into marginal territories (p. 152)
  • The relationship between colonialism, a marginal food base, and female power (p. 156)
  • Part IV The dynamics of male dominance and sexual inequality
  • 8 The bases for male dominance (p. 163)
  • Male dominance: mythical and real (p. 163)
  • The correlates of male dominance and sexual inequality (p. 171)
  • Anthropological explanations for male diminance (p. 172)
  • From the native's point of view (p. 179)
  • Male dominance: part of a cultural configuration or a solution to stress (p. 181)
  • 9 Why women? (p. 184)
  • Defining the oppressor (p. 185)
  • Men, animals, and women: the Mbuti and the Desana (p. 187)
  • External and internal threats to social survival: mythical versus real male dominance in the New Guinea highlands (p. 194)
  • The experience of migration: the Azande versus the Bemba (p. 199)
  • Conclusion (p. 210)
  • Part V Conquerors of the land flowing with milk and honey
  • Epilogue (p. 215)
  • The goddess and Yahweh cults in Canaan (p. 216)
  • Adam and Eve: migrating men and foreign goddesses (p. 220)
  • In God's image (p. 225)
  • The early Christians (p. 227)
  • Appendixes
  • A Sample (p. 232)
  • B Variables (p. 236)
  • C Analysis of the relationship between environment, fathers' proximity to infants, and origin symbolism (p. 239)
  • D Configurations for the division of labor (p. 248)
  • E Construction of the measure for female economic and political power or authority (p. 250)
  • F Male aggression scale and male dominance measure (p. 253)
  • Notes (p. 257)
  • Bibliography (p. 275)
  • Index (p. 285)

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