Ambiguity and Gendered Practices

Mariane C. Ferme

in The Underneath of Things

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520225428
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925717 | DOI:
Ambiguity and Gendered Practices

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This chapter explores gendered practices in Sierra Leone, focusing on shifting meanings of objects such as stools and hammocks within the articulation of a Mende social space. It analyzes the temporary gestures and performances through which gender domains are made and unmade and comments on the discourse that links cultural prohibitions to military readiness. The analysis reveals that the division of the world between brave men and senseless women masks a cultural strategy that tends to elite these distinctions when they most matter.

Keywords: gendered practices; Sierra Leone; social space; Mende; gender domains; gestures; performances; cultural prohibitions; military readiness; cultural strategy

Chapter.  8489 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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