Gender in History: Global Perspectives / Edition 2

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Over the past two decades, consideration of gender have revolutionized the study of history. Yet most books on the subject remain narrowly focused on specific Second Edition, continues to readers this inequity by providing a concise overview of the construction of gender in many world cultures over a period stretching from the Paleolithic era to modern times.

Thoroughly updated to reflect current developments in the field, the new edition features entirely new sections which address primates, slavery, colonialism, masculinity, transgender issues, and other relevant topics. As in the well-received first edition, material is presented thematically to reveal the connections between gender and structures such as the family, economy, law, religion, sexuality, and the state.

Wiesner-Hanks also investigates precisely what is meant to be a man or woman throughout history; how these roles were shaped by various institutions; and how they in turn were influenced by gender. The author presents material within each chapter chronologically to highlight the ways in which gender structures have varied over time.

The new edition of Gender in History: Global Perspectives offers rich insights into all that is currently known about gender roles throughout world history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This wonderful little volume packs an impressive amount of research into 227 pages… this text makes excellent addition to an ancillary reading list for students who too often receive a seriously abbreviated version of women’s roles in history.”  (World History Connected, 1 February 2013)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405189958
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/20/2010
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 248
  • Sales rank: 970,944
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Merry Wiesner-Hanks is a Distinguished Professor of History and the Interim Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the co-editor of the Sixteenth Century Journal and the author or editor of twenty books and numerous articles that have appeared in English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Chinese. Her books include The Marvelous Hairy Girls (2009), Women and Gender in Early Modern Europe (2008) and, with Teresa Meade, A Companion to Gender History (Blackwell, 2004).

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Table of Contents

Chronological Table of Contents.


1. Introduction.

Sex and Gender.

Gender History and Theory.

Structure of the Book.

The Origins of Patriarchy.

2. The Family.

Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (4000 bce–600 bce).

The Classical Cultures of China, India, and the.

Mediterranean (600 bce–500 ce).

Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia in the.

Premodern Era (600 bce–1600 ce).

Medieval and Early Modern Europe and the.

Mediterranean (500 ce–1600 ce).

The Colonial World (1500 ce–1900 ce).

The Industrial and Postindustrial World (1800 ce–2010 ce).

3. Economic Life.

Foraging, Horticultural, and Herding Societies.

(20,000 bce–1800 ce).

Agricultural Societies (7000 bce–1800 ce).

Slavery (7000 bce–1900 ce).

Capitalism and Industrialism (1500 ce–2000 ce).

Corporations, the State, and the Service Economy.

(1900–2010) .

4. Ideas, Ideals, Norms, and Laws.

The Nature and Roles of Men and Women.


Motherhood and Fatherhood.

Ideologies, Norms, and Laws Prescribing Gender Inequity.

Ideologies of Egalitarianism.

5. Religion.

Animism, Shamanism, and Paganism (from 40,000 bce).

Written Religions in the Ancient Near East (from 3000 bce).

Confucianism and Taoism (from 600 bce).

Hinduism and Buddhism (from 600 bce).

Christianity (from 30 ce).

Islam (from 600 ce).

6. Political Life.

Kin Groups, Tribes, and Villages (from 10,000 bce).

Hereditary Aristocracies (from 3000 bce).


Citizenship (500 bce–1800 ce).

Women’s Rights Movements (1800 ce–2010 ce).

Colonialism, Anticolonialism, and Postcolonialism.

(1500 ce–2010 ce).

7. Education and Culture.

Classical and Postclassical Cultures (600 bce–1450 ce).

The Renaissance (1400–1600 ce).

Democracy, Modernity, and Literacy (1750–2010 ce).

8. Sexuality.

Classical Eurasia (600 bce–600 ce).

The Americas (500 ce–1500 ce).

Third Genders.

The Colonial World: Sex and Race (1500–1900).

Modern Sexuality in the West (1750–1950).

The Globalized World (1950–2010).



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