Gender, Culture, and Physicality: Paradoxes and Taboos

Gender, Culture, and Physicality: Paradoxes and Taboos

by Helen M. Sterk, Annelies Knoppers
     
 

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Although a plethora of scholarship analyzes gender dynamics, this book seeks to explore the paradoxes and taboos associated with gendered meanings given to human bodies in action, or "physicality." Physicality provides a particularly clear playing space for developing concepts of gender identity, structures, and cultural meanings. When people think about gender

Overview

Although a plethora of scholarship analyzes gender dynamics, this book seeks to explore the paradoxes and taboos associated with gendered meanings given to human bodies in action, or "physicality." Physicality provides a particularly clear playing space for developing concepts of gender identity, structures, and cultural meanings. When people think about gender differences, they often refer to those associated with physicality, such as giving birth or playing contact sports. Helen M. Sterk and Annelies Knoppers attend to the meanings and values given to human bodies in motion that reflect cultural respect-or disrespect-for what is seen as "womanly" in particular times and places. In doing so, they show how these meanings can reinforce or challenge common ways of doing gender that, at first glance, may not seem to be related to physicality. Grappling with gender-based paradoxes and questioning gendered taboos, two goals animate the book: to reveal how gender continues to be enacted in ways that dehumanize women and men, and to stimulate thinking and action toward a fuller realization of human potential and partnership. Operating from an ethic of care, in which all people are understood as being created equal, Sterk and Knoppers argue that as long as women and all that is associated with them are devalued, cultural practices will remain implicitly gendered and humanity itself, reduced.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739134061
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
12/30/2009
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Helen M. Sterk is professor and chair of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Calvin College. Annelies Knoppers is professor in the Department of Governance and Organization Studies and in the Department of Pedagogy and Educational Sciences at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

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