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Reason, desire, and sexuality : the meaning of gender in northern Afg[h]anistan

Author: Audrey Shalinsky
Publisher: [East Lansing, MI] (202 International Center, East Lansing 48824-1035) : Women in International Development, Michigan State University, ©1986.
Series: Working paper (Michigan State University. Office of Women in International Development), #125.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Based on field data obtained in a traditional urban ethnic group in northern Afghanistan, the paper views gender as symbolic meanings mediated and interpreted through social experience and social discourse. Analysis indicates that a crucial component of gender ideology includes the idea that reason and desire struggle for control of a person. Sexuality must be controlled so that desire does not subvert the social  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Shalinsky, Audrey.
Reason, desire, and sexuality.
[East Lansing, MI] (202 International Center, East Lansing 48824-1035) : Women in International Development, Michigan State University, ©1986
(OCoLC)654752866
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Audrey Shalinsky
OCLC Number: 17551655
Notes: "September 1986."
Description: 22 pages ; 28 cm.
Series Title: Working paper (Michigan State University. Office of Women in International Development), #125.
Responsibility: by Audrey C. Shalinsky.

Abstract:

Based on field data obtained in a traditional urban ethnic group in northern Afghanistan, the paper views gender as symbolic meanings mediated and interpreted through social experience and social discourse. Analysis indicates that a crucial component of gender ideology includes the idea that reason and desire struggle for control of a person. Sexuality must be controlled so that desire does not subvert the social and moral order. Two interrelated sets of gender concepts are also discussed: symbolic statements about the "nature" of men and women and symbolic statements about the "interaction" of men and women. The latter includes ideas about marriage, veiling, and adultery. An indigenous symbol of female power and sexuality, the almasti, a witchlike figure, is linked to concepts of pollution from menstrual blood and makes a statement about women's passionate and uncontrolled nature. Throughout the analysis the focus is on traditional norms, values, and attitudes which have particular salience given the Islamic resurgence in Afghanistan today.

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