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Social Structure and Gender Roles of the Post Classical Era

An analysis of the systems of social and gender structures throughout the regions of Asia, Africa, Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas, Middle East, and India. 2 December 2013. By Jenna Fong, Makenna Kincheloe, Kevin Louie, and Jillian Lauderda
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Kevin Louie

on 6 December 2013

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Transcript of Social Structure and Gender Roles of the Post Classical Era

India
Asia
The Americas
The civilizations within the Americas primarily did not change.
Middle East
Social Structures
+Gender Roles

Storytelling
Europe
Africa
With the coming of Islam, some aspects of Africa's gender roles and social structure changed, while other aspects remained the same.
Social Structure
Nuclear family units
Lineage group
Matrilinear structure more so than patrilinear
Gender Roles
Women's role more significant (storytellers) yet subordinate to men
Relations between sexes more relaxed
By: Jenna Fong, Makenna Kincheloe,
Kevin Louie, & Jillian Lauderdale
Thesis
The systems of social structure and gender structure established during the post classical period of 600 CE-1450 CE throughout the regions of Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, and India anticipated change, while the systems of social structure and gender structure in the regions of the Americas and the Middle East remained the same and preserved much of their systems.
Stateless Societies
North America
Women: greater roles in society than counterparts in river valley civilizations
South America
Men = Women
Equal gender roles due to absence of clear cut class stratifications
Roles of men and women were complementary
Mesoamerica
Mayans
Social Classes
Upper Class: aristocrats, priests, scribes, sculptors, and painters
Middle-class: artisans and traders
Lower-class: farmers
Gender Roles
Men: fought and hunt
Women: domestic chores, noblewomen
Aztecs
Social Classes- rigidly stratified
Upper class: government positions
Rest of population: commoners, indentured workers, and slaves
Commoners part of calpullis
Gender Roles
Gender roles rigidly stratified
Women not equal to men
Men: trained for war
Women: domestic chores
South America
The Incas
Women: domestic chores, chosen virgins
Marriage strictly regulated
Tribal groups
Social Statuses were rigidly defined and the residents of the capital city of Cuzco were divided and arranged in residential areas based on their social statuses
Footbinding
China
Social structures
Basic unit: family
Eldest male ruled as autocrat
Important: one's duty to their parents
scholar-gentry class replaced aristocracy as political and economic elites
Gender roles
Male dominance
Men: warriors, scholars, ministers
Women: housewives, cannot own property
Female infanticide
Foot binding
Patriarchal head of families
Filial piety
Japan
Before & After Adopting the Chinese Model
Social Structure
tribal society rural villages
aristocrats based on wealth aristocrats based on knowledge (high-class local officials)
establishment of samurais
local artisan class, weavers, carpenters, and ironworkers
Gender Roles
Women
independent more subordinate
polgyny
Men
men = women male dominance
The region of Asia endured changes in social and gender structures through the adoption of the Chinese model and its practices.
Social Structure- Caste System
Caste System was slightly affected by the spread of Islam to India in the eighth century, but preserved
Muslim ruling class and non-Hindus were incorporated in the caste system- occupied higher positions
Gender Roles
Men = Most men worked the fields, while some were artisans or government officials
Women = Primary role was to produce children; women in low classes were equal to men and ironically upper class Indian women were more restricted-purdah
Much of the aspects of social structure and gender roles of the Middle East were affected by the coming of Islam and trade.

Social Structure
Well-defined upperclass: ruling families, senior officials, tribal elites, wealthiest merchants
No hereditary nobility
Widespread slavery
Gender Roles
Women
hidden away in homes/harems
cover all body parts
Male dominance
right of divorce restricted to men

The End
Early Middle Ages
Social structure
Relationship between lords and vassals
monks, serfs, popes, knights
Family-crucial social bond
Male dominance
Women- domestic labor
High Middle Ages
Social Structure (more defined)
Men of War: lords and vassals
Aristocrats/Lords: kings, dukes, counts, barons, and viscounts
Peasant women- more significant role; responsible for household and labor in fields
Medieval Women
Much of China's social and gender structures were influenced by its religious and political aspects.
Europe's social structure and gender roles were affected by much of its religious, political, and economical life.

Although the systems of social structure and gender roles of Asia, Africa, Europe, and India significantly changed due to economic renewals, religious progressions, and political developments, while the systems in the Americas and Middle East maintained continuity, each of the regions were overall greatly affected by this change/no change in the systems of social structure and gender roles in that social structure enabled what each person's life would lead on and what accomplishments they would achieve through their role in society, and gender roles gave order and restrictions within the society.
India
The spread of Islam in the eighth century c.e. induced change in social structures and gender roles in the post-classical era in India.
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