Women and Men in the Prehispanic Southwest

Women and Men in the Prehispanic Southwest : Labor, Power and Prestige

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Description

"Women and Men in the Prehispanic Southwest" takes a groundbreaking look at gendered activities in prehistory and the differential access that women and men had to sources and symbols of power and prestige. The American Southwest presents an ideal situation for investigating issues central to gendered research in anthropology because of the wealth of data available, the secure dating of sites in the region, and the presence of multiple "cultures" that survived into protohistoric times. The authors -including some of the most prominent archaeologists working in the Southwest today - probe the time period during which Southwestern populations shifted from migratory gatherer-hunters to sedentary agriculturalists and from living in small bands to settling in large aggregated communities. Their rich data sets allow them to examine gender in middle-range societies and begin to tease out important issues of why the division of labour and prestige structures changed along with increasing economic intensification or sociopolitical complexity.
The authors present valuable methodological and theoretical case studies which take a step forward researchers' ability to "read" gender in the evidence left behind by ancient societies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 520 pages
  • 153 x 230mm | 670g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • references
  • 0852559224
  • 9780852559222

Table of contents

Gendered tasks, power, & prestige in the prehispanic American Southwest by Patricia L. Crown - Women, men & the organization of space by Michelle Hegmon, Scott G. Ortman & Jeannette L. Mobley-Tanaka - Gender ideology & ritual activities by Kelley Hays-Gilpin - Gender hierarchies: a comparative analysis of mortuary data by Jill E. Neitzel - Farming, foraging, & gender by Suzanne K. Fish - Gender & animals: hunting technology, ritual & subsistence by Christine R. Szuter - Women's role in changing cuisine by Patricia L. Crown - Bodies & lives: biological indicators of health differentials & division of labor by sex by Debra L. Martin - Gender, craft production, & inequality by Barbara J. Mills - Gender & exchange by Katherine A. Spielmann - Gender modes in the Southwest: a sociocultural perspective by Louise Lamphere - References
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Review quote

'Women & Men in the Prehispanic Southwest is an important book...the Southwest provides a superb situation for the investigation of issues related to studies of gender and gender hierarchy because of the wealth of data available, the secure dating of sites, the diversity of its archaeologically defined traditions and the survival of vibrant Native American cultures indigenous to the region...There is a great deal to think about in this book. I recommend it highly.' - Linda S. Cordell in Cambridge Archaeological Journal '...the primary goal of the various articles in Women and Men in the Prehispanic Southwest is the study of gender, specifically "the activities undertaken by men and women in prehistory", "the differential access that men and women had to sources and symbols of power and prestige" (Crown p.3), and "the relationship between men and women and the chaning and dynamic roles of women and men in society" (Szuter, p.198). The questions asked are about impacts, about what culture change "means in terms of the relationships between men and women" (Szuter, p.198). Thus, rather than attempting to explain such aspects of culture change as sedentism, agricultural intensification, or aggregation, the goal of the seminar "was to examine the effects such changes had on the lives of women and men who inhabited the Southwest - on their tasks, health, prestige, and power within the community" (Crown, p.5). 'What, then, are the contributions of this volume? First, Women and Men focuses on the under-explored social relations of prehispanic Southwestern societies...Second, some chapters move beyond the pots and pueblos that so many Southwesternists study and instead explore important, but neglected dimensions of the archaeological record: rock art, the production of all-important corn meal, and ritual...Finally, important but neglected aspects of the much-studied pots and pueblos are brought to the fore... 'As a group, these papers pose new questions and hypotheses and offer interesting methodological approaches to addressing those issues. The focus is more on exploring ways to study gender in the past than on reaching new conclusions about the past, but the potential of that exploration to help us answer important questions about culture history and process is clear...this volume represents an important step toward a richer, more holistic view of the prehispanic Southwest.' - Stephen Plog in Cambridge Archaeological Journal
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