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This volume compares and contrasts concepts of gender from a wide range of perspectives drawn from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. The contributors examine the complex process of sexual differentiation in an attempt to determine how feminine and masculine are defined and how these definitions contribute to and influence perceptions of social reality in various disciplines. Their essays explore how gender roles are created and how they influence the American way of life in such embedded cultural mores as the romance novel, images of the Virgin Mary, male inmates, the American wedding, contemporary art and architecture, 19th-century patriarchy, economics, and natural science. This is a timely, important, and, above all, useful book that will provide students in women's studies and cultural studies with a solid introduction to central concepts and texts in gender studies, and give them an equally important sense of the multiplicity of methodologies.
Angelika Bammer, Emory University
This volume breaks important new ground in the rapidly growing field of gender studies by comparing and contrasting concepts of gender from a wide range of perspectives drawn from the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. The contributorseach a specialist in his or her discipline as well as in the area of gender studiesexamine the complex processes of sexual differentiation to determine how feminine and masculine are defined and how these definitions contribute to and influence perceptions of social reality in various disciplines. United by an overall focus on the importance of gender constructs in shaping cultural ideology and social interaction, the essays explore how gender roles are created and how they influence the American way of life in such embedded cultural mores as the romance novel, images of the Virgin Mary, male inmates, the American wedding, contemporary art, nineteenth-century patriarchy, economics, and natural science.
The essays are arranged so that disciplines and themes interralateeach essay enhances the previous work and introduces the next. Overall, the book is arranged into three systematic approaches to gender studies. Four papers explore the way art, literature, and ritual reflect gender beliefs and act as vehicles for their reinvention through time. Another set of essays more explicitly concerns the power that ideology has in recreating gender and associated beliefs and practices. Essays on nineteenth century patriarchy and on prison gender identities emphasize that both men and women must be viewed as products of their culture. A final group of essays deal with gender and prestige or power structures as they have influenced the intellectual development of various disciplines and the individuals who are trained in those disciplines. This section includes essays on the relationship between gender and science, gender roles in economics, feminist roles in religious studies, and the emergence of women in architecture. Taken together, these papers offer an important new focus for students and scholars involved in studying the pervasive influence of gender across disciplines.
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About the Author
PAMELA R. FRESE is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the College of Wooster, Ohio.
JOHN M. COGGESHALL is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Clemson University, South Carolina.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Pamela R. Frese and John M. Coggeshall
Gender Constructions in Science by Mark Weaver, Claudia Thompson, and Susan Newton
The Plot of Gender: The How-To Romance of Pride and Prejudice by Susan Jaret McKinstry
The Image of the Word: The Representation of Books in Medieval Iconography by Maryann E. Brink
Patriarchy and Male Oppression: Suffering the Responsibilities of Manhood by Karen Taylor
Economic Methodology and Gender Roles by Barbara S. Burnell
Those Who Surrender are Female: Prisoner Gender Identities as Cultural Mirror by John M. Coggeshall
The Union of Nature and Culture: Gender Symbolism in American Wedding Ritual by Pamela R. Frese
Beyond the Language and Memory of the Fathers: Feminist Perspectives in Religious Studies by Elizabeth Castelli and James McBride
The Emergence of New Voices: Women in Architecture by N. Jane Hurt
Art and Artist as Mediators and Creators of Paradox by Margaret Ford