Gender And Society In The New Guinea Highlands: An Anthropological Perspective On Antagonism Toward Women

1st Edition

Marilyn G. Gelber

Routledge
Published June 7, 2019
Reference - 192 Pages
ISBN 9780367011345 - CAT# K403564

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Summary

The societies of the New Guinea Highlands are among the last-contacted horticulturalist peoples of the world. Endemic warfare, elaborate systems of exchange, flamboyant personality styles, and exaggerated forms of antagonism between the sexes have made them a subject of interest to anthropologists for three decades. This book examines the relationship between the sexes, especially the attitudes and behavior of men toward women, as a result of the economic, political, and structural constraints of Highland social organization. Hostility toward women, which is evident in a high level of violence toward women and an articulated fear of association with them, is given special attention. Dr. Gelber's study is unique not only because it treats gender relations in the entire culture area of the Highlands, but also because a broad array of types of anthropological analysis—ecosystemic, population-regulatory, economic, sociopolitical, psychological, and ideational—are considered for their relevance to the phenomenon of intersexual hostility. The author's emphasis on underlying problems of explanation and theory, as well as the treatment of attitudes and beliefs as a function of socioeconomic constraints, is a departure from previous modes of analysis and raises new issues in anthropological theory and in the study of gender.

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