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Generation and Gender F14 SOAN181

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Julie Jenkins

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Generation and Gender F14 SOAN181

Generation & Gender
What is a youth?
social position in relation to power, wealth, rights
---set into contrast with the social position of elders
---make asymmetrical claims on others
not necessarily an age category or linked to biological categories
emphasis that these dependents are controlled through various mechanisms
Meillassoux (1981)
Guro of Ivory Coast
--'Youth' created through exercise of power and claims to knowledge
'elders' control means of production (land) & reproduction (women)
--high bride-price
Murphy argues that among the Kpelle, youth are controlled by elder via access to knowledge
how do elders control youth in terms of access to knowledge?
Youth are also thought of has having subversive tendencies, able to challenge the authority of elders
particularly in relation to their connection with 'modernity'
-- youth are seen as 'modern', involved in social change
-- elders are seen as 'traditional', emblems of community and social stability
What does Gable argue about youths' ability to challenge authority and their relationship to 'modernity' and 'tradition' among the Katama in Guinea-Bissau?
societies demarcate 'youth' differently
-need to understand in relation to wider concept of generation and the relationship between categories
Wealth in People- 1970s
--wealth accumulated through people, not objects
'youth' a part of an elder's wealth
--alongside wives, children, slaves
--dependents (can't command the labor of others
category of 'slave' becomes ambiguous
--precolonially, many societies incorporated slaves as 'children' of a lineage
--process of incorporation rather than state of being
--"freedom"- tied to social group
--"unfree"-- outside social group, vulnerable, without protection
--personhood as composite, becoming, relational, unbounded
--social relationships of power constitute the categories of youth & elders
What is gender? Is it determined by biology?
In U.S., mostly, recognize a two sex/two gender model
---idea took root during Renaissance

We talk about sex and gender as if they are the same and gender is determined by biology
Kabre understand children to be 'androgynous'
Gender Roles & Sexual Division of Labor
Jobs or tasks associated with different genders (even if only symbolically)

“Patterned ways of allocating productive and other economic tasks to women and men”
How has the political and economic power of Igbo women shifted over time? Why? How?
What gender expectations should Asante women fulfill? Why were they threatened and harrassed as traders?
Sex- biological differences (X/Y chromosomes, hormones, secondary sexual characteristics)

Gender- culturally & historically constructed norms, values, & behaviors considered appropriate for each sex.
not necessarily biologically DETERMINED. RELATED, but NOT DETERMINED.

“raw material” that we build different ideas, beliefs, meanings, and roles around
----Construction of Reality
Gender Stratification-
--variance in status between genders
Need to account for:
-value placed on contribution
-legal rights
-economic independence
Full transcript