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Gender Roles/Relations in Paleolithic Society

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by

Caroline Sprague

on 1 October 2014

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Transcript of Gender Roles/Relations in Paleolithic Society

Mesopotamia
Development and Transformation of Social Structures
By Serena Wu, Riley Shanahan, and Caroline Sprague
Sexes had different roles in hunter-gatherer society (men hunted while women gathered), but both were integral to the survival of the group->
Relative Equality of the Sexes
Valued fertility-Ex:
Venus Figurines


Gender Roles/Relations in Paleolithic Society
Continuities
Gender-specific roles
Changes
Different roles (women mostly worked domestically, but could be priestesses, men worked in public roles)
Power began to be placed in the hands of men
Hammurabi's Code
stated that men were the head of the house and had the authority to sell wives and children
Gender Roles/Relations in Mesopotamia
Men and women had specialized roles (men domesticated animals, women farmed)
Gender Roles/Relations in Neolithic Society
Continuities
Gender-specific roles (women=domestic, men=scribes, government officials, laborers, artisans, farmers, fishermen)
Relatively economically egalitarian
Both could own property and pass it along to children
Changes
Largely patriarchal society
Exceptions
Egypt-women served as regents for young rulers, queens
Hatshepsut
, and
Cleopatra

Nubia had a fair amount of female leaders, priestesses, and even scribes
Gender Roles/Relations in the Nile River Valley

Continuities
Gender-specific roles (most Mayan priests were men)
Valued fertility (Chavin Cult)
Changes
Patriarchal society
Gender Roles/Relations in Mesoamerica
Continuities
Gender-specific roles (women=domestic, men=public roles)
Changes
Extremely patriarchal; women considered subordinate
The
Lawbook of Manu

outlined gender relations
Books
Mahabharata
and
Ramayana
portray women as weak and loyal to men
Child marriages were common
Gender Roles/Relations in South Asia
Continuities
Gender-specific roles (women=domestic, men=public roles)
Women valued
Changes
Patriarchal society->stability
Confusion values-Classic of Filial Piety
Ban Zhou's
Admonitions of Women
emphasized obedience and humility
Gender Roles/Relations in East Asia
In nomadic clans, lived with 30-50 other people
Neanderthals performed elaborate burials
Family/Kinship in Paleolithic Society
Changes
Property passed along family lines
Small towns->cities (Jericho, Çatal Hüyük)

Family/Kinship in Neolithic Society
Changes
Racial/ethnic tension between the Han and the people of the steppe
Ethnic/Racial Constructions in East Asia
Changes
Racial/ethnic tension between the Dravidian people and the migratory Indo-Europeans
Began to differentiate by skin color, leading to
varna
Eventually intermarried
Ethnic/Racial Constructions in South Asia
Changes
Racial/ethnic tension between the
Egyptians
and
Nubians
resulted in frequent fighting
Could differentiate between the two groups based on skin color
Ethnic/Racial Constructions in the Nile River Valley
Nomadic society, could not accumulate property; social standing based on other things, such as age, physical strength, fertility, or virtues

Social and Economic Classes in Paleolithic Society
Changes
Increase in population+agricultural surplus->specialized jobs->social distinction->social classes
Classes such as political leaders, artisans, and priests arose

Social and Economic Classes in Neolithic Society
Continuities
Social class system
Changes
No noble class--only very high government officials and priests
Scribes
were well respected
Artisans
Laborers
Slaves
Social and Economic Classes in the Nile River Valley
Continuities
Social classes
Changes
Buildings at Mohenjo-Daro reveal that some families were wealthier than others
Classes
(
the Caste System
)
were very rigid
Varna
Jati
Brahmins
were elect priestly class
Social tensions when peasants and merchants amassed more wealth than Brahmins
Jainism
and
Buddhism
challenged the social order
Social and Economic Classes in South Asia
Continuities
Social classes
Changes
SPAM- based on Confucian values
Scholars- very focused on education, so scholars were valued highly
Peasants
Artisans
Merchants
Warriors not valued, emphasized agriculture
Social and Economic Classes in East Asia
Continuities
Social classes
Changes
Olmecs-Elite class and many laborers
Andes-agricultural surplus allowed for specialized laborers such as craftsmen and artisans
In Maya society, rulers, nobility, and priests were prominent
Merchants were nobles who served as traders and ambassadors
Also had architects, artisans, peasants, and slaves

Social and Economic Classes in Mesoamerica
Plebeians vs patricians
Social tensions
Conscription
Land distribution issues (
latifundia
)
Common appeased with
bread and circuses
(Colosseum)
Pater familia
→ very patriarchal, rested family life in hands of males
Merchants, landowners, and contractors became the wealthy class
Slaves (1/3 of the population) worked on latifundia, and in state quarries or mines

Social and Economic Classes in Roman Society
Continuities
Some poleis, but not all, had social classes
Changes
Sparta
Theoretically equal--little social distinction
Government owned slaves (
helots
)
Athens
Land distribution issues
Representation of lower class issues (
Solon, Pericles
)

Social and Economic Classes in Greek Society
Continuities
Gender-specific roles
Changes
Patriarchal society
Sparta-women still largely domestic but were expected to be strong, higher status than other poleis
When outside, usually were escorted by a male chaperon and wore veils
Women could small businesses, but not property
Only public position a woman could hold was as a priestess
Most upper-class women were educated (
Sappho
)

Gender Roles/Relations in Greek Society
Continuities
Social class system
Changes
Ruling class made up of warrior kings/nobles
Seen as semi-divine
Position passed to princes/kings' friends
Priests were second only to ruling class
Slaves
Usually POW or debtors
Typically freed after a few years
Changes
Blending of various cultures and ethnicities due to frequent invasions (Semitic peoples, Assyrians, Babylonians, etc.)
Racial/Ethic Constructions in Mesopotamia
Family/Kinship in Mesopotamia
Continuities
Social classes
Changes
SPAM- based on Confucian values
Scholars- very focused on education, so scholars were valued highly
Peasants
Artisans
Merchants
Warriors not valued, emphasized agriculture
Social and Economic Classes in East Asia
Strong
patriarchy

Basic unit of society
A man could easily leave a childless wife, while a woman faced harder punishments leaving her husband
A woman could go where she wanted as long as it was okay with her husband

Continuities
For those who remained hunter-gatherers (primarily Austronesians), few social classes
Changes
Hierarchical chiefdoms (Lapita)
Had a very powerful divine/semi-divine chief that would lead public rituals
Chiefs, priests, administrators, soldiers, servants
Contests for power caused arguments that led to further migration
Social and Economic Classes in Oceanic Society
Social and Economic Classes in Mesopotamia
Continuities
Men/women performed different roles in household
Changes
Patriarchal heads of family
Property passed to children
Family/Kinship in the Nile River Valley
Changes
Strictly patriarchal
Women=subordinates to men
Entire family part of the same caste
Family/Kinship in South Asia
Changes
Strictly patriarchal
Confucian values emphasized a united family
Religion based on the veneration of ancestors
Elders seen as wise, held power within a family
Family/Kinship in East Asia
Changes
Strictly patriarchal--men had authority in household
Made all decisions, including whether or not to abandon a newborn infant
Women performed domestic roles

Family/Kinship in Greek Society
Changes
Patriarchal
Paterfamilias
="father of the family"
Arranged marriages
Determined children's work
Punished children
Family included entire household (slaves, servants, relations)
Authority was not strictly in the hands of men--women wielded some influence as supervisors of domestic affairs
Often helped with finances and decision making

Family/Kinship in Roman Society
Continuities
Gender-specific roles
Changes
Patriarchal, although less so than other regions
Often maintained finances and amassed great deal of property (despite loosely-enforced legal restrictions)
Men were still the authority and controlled public life

Gender Roles/Relations in Roman Society
Mohenjo-Daro
Luoyang
Jericho
Çatal Hüyük
Chavin Cult
Egypt
Nubia
Chang'an
Rome
Athens
Sparta
Olmecs
Maya
Austronesia
Sumer
Lapita Society
Han
Mauryan/Gupta Empires
Full transcript