Changing Genders in Intercultural Perspectives

Changing Genders in Intercultural Perspectives

In anthropology, the catch-all concepts of gender, sex, male, female catch both too much and too little. In contrast, this collection explores the shifting differences within them, as well as the mutable differences between. Drawing on extensive fieldwork, these essays develop contextual and strategic analyses of the way sex-gender constellations can be configured as political identities, as a resource, or in response to unforeseen contingencies.

These constellations of sex-gender can be used instrumentally by colonial, neo-colonial or patriarchal regimes, by global communications networks, and by local moralities; they can govern blinkered research strategies (gender 'neutrality'; 'objective' discourse); they can be ambivalent mediators (in bride-wealth negotiations; as a strategy for immigrant success); or they may constitute a subversive counterstrategy (as with the appropriation of the 'two-spirit' notion).

These examples show that there is nothing useful to be said about gender, sex, male, female outside the concrete specificity of the relations in which they are defined, produced and reproduced. Drawing on recent theorising in the fields of anthropology and gender studies this collection addresses a unique and vitally challenging set of issues exploring both new kinds of gender configurations as well as their changing circumstances.