By Diane Bolger
An authoritative advisor on gender prehistory for researchers, teachers and scholars in anthropology, archaeology, and gender studies
- Provides the main up to date, finished assurance of gender archaeology, with an specific concentrate on prehistory
- Offers serious overviews of advancements within the archaeology of gender over the past 30 years, in addition to checks of present developments and customers for destiny research
- Focuses on fresh 3rd Wave methods to the research of gender in early human societies, hard heterosexist biases, and investigating the interfaces among gender and prestige, age, cognition, social reminiscence, performativity, the physique, and sexuality
- Features various neighborhood and thematic issues authored by means of verified experts within the field, with incisive insurance of gender study in prehistoric and protohistoric cultures of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Pacific
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Extra info for A Companion to Gender Prehistory
1 As indicated by the numerous papers in the current volume that raise this as an issue of central concern, the uncritical acceptance of sex and gender as natural and unchanging phenomena continues to shape much of the research in prehistoric archaeology today. Twenty years after Engendering Archaeology, biological differences between males and females are still widely regarded (implicitly or otherwise) as fundamental determinants of gendered behavior, both in the past and in the present. A second factor restricting the acceptance of gendered perspectives in prehistoric archaeology lies in the persistent inequality between men and women in the archaeological workplace, the result of gender discrimination on a global scale over the course of many generations (Nelson et al.
27:577); Bolger maintains that “archaeological research, when based unreflectively on broad ethnographic analogies, serves to distort rather than clarify gendered patterns of task differentiation” (chap. 8:165); and Hays-Gilpin, quoting Helskog (2001:248), observes that “analogies do not explain specific prehistoric traditions and processes or how the phenomena came about” (chap. 6:125). Scepticism among prehistorians with regard to use of ethnographic data, even when applied judiciously, has increased significantly over the last decade, as a concern with contextual analysis has increased.
Most prehistorians today make some attempt to avoid the distorting “lenses of gender” (androcentrism, gender polarization, and biological essentialism, as defined by Bem 1993), and gender archaeologists are continuing to develop new methods for investigating the ways in which past societies defined gender roles, constructed gender identities, and naturalized or legitimized gender differences; much of this research is being conducted within the framework of postmodern feminist theory. What then remains of earlier archaeological research on gender, which was grounded in feminist theory and active political engagement?
A Companion to Gender Prehistory by Diane Bolger