Chopsticks Only Work in Pairs: Gender Unity and Gender Equality Among the Lahu of Southwestern China / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 31%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $17.68
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 46%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $17.68   
  • New (2) from $82.62   
  • Used (10) from $17.68   


The ideal of "gender equality" seems forever elusive, always tantalizingly over the horizon. Shanshan Du suggests that by shifting our attention away from the various utopian ideals embedded in mainstream feminism, we may be surprised to learn that gender-egalitarian societies do exist. Based on extensive fieldwork, this book explores the Lahu society in Southwest China where practical gender equality has become the byproduct of a potent ideology of gender unity, vividly expressed by the proverb, "chopsticks only work in pairs."

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Asian Folklore Studies - Hayami Yoko

This book is delightfully readable and as the same time thought-provoking, full of lively and sensitive ethnography...Finely written.

Anthropos - Charles F. McKhann

A very powerful ethnography.

Asian Folklore Studies
This book is delightfully readable and as the same time thought-provoking, full of lively and sensitive ethnography...Finely written.

— Hayami Yoko

A very powerful ethnography.

— Charles F. McKhann

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231119573
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 12/11/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 841,535
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Shanshan Du is assistant professor of anthropology at Tulane University and winner of the Elsie Clews Parsons Prize of the American Ethnological Society and the Sylvia Forman Prize of the Association for Feminist Anthropology.

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTIONIs There Any Gender-Egalitarian Society on Earth?The Lahu PeopleFieldwork SitesProject Development and MethodsThe Structure of the BookPart I: MYTHOLOGY AND IDEOLOGY 2. "EVERYTHING COMES IN PAIRS": A DYADIC WORLDVIEW"Both One and Two": Pairs as DyadsTwin-Dyads in Origin MythsBlending Femininity and Masculinity in Gendered IdealsThe Preeminence of DyadsConclusion3. HUSBAND-WIFE DYADS IN THE LIFE CYCLEWedding as the Rite of Passage to AdulthoodThe Joint Journey of Married Couples in LifeThe Reunion of Accomplished Couples in AfterlifeMarginalizing Lone SoulsConclusionPart II: Joint Gender Roles 4."HUSBAND AND WIFE DO IT TOGETHER": UNIFYING GENDER IN LABORProcreation IdeologiesPregnancy and ChildbirthChild Rearing"Work Hard to Eat"Conclusion5. "MALE-FEMALE CO-HEADS": UNIFYING GENDER IN LEADERSHIP"Male-Female Masters of the Household"Dyadic Leadership in Village and Village ClusterConclusionPart III: Structure and anti-Structure 6. UNIFYING GENDER IN KINSHIP AND INTERHOUSEHOLD ORGANIZATIONDyadic Ego in Kinship TerminologyHousehold Co-heads and Inter-household InteractionsConclusion7. THE DISFUNCTION AND COLLAPSE OF GENDER DYADS: DIVORCE, ELOPEPMENT, AND LOVE-PACT SUICIDEMajor Threats to Husband-Wife DyadsThe Collapse of MarriagesConclusion8. CONCLUSION: RETHINKING GENDER EQUALITYGender Equality as Social RealityThe Cultural Particularity of Gender EqualityThe Diversity of Gender EqualityREFERENCES CITED

Columbia University Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)