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Control and Subversion: Gender Relations in Tajikistan (Anthropology, Culture and Society)by Colette Harris
Synopses & Reviews
Control and Subversion makes an important contribution to the study of Muslim societies in general, while also being a unique study of a neglected area - post-Soviet Tajikistan - a country gaining increasing importance in the international arena of Central Asia. The book presents an intimate view of this society, told through ethnographically collected life histories, unusually including mens as well as womens. Despite developing significant gender theories (notably reframing work of Judith Butler), and maintaining high academic standards, it remains as readable as a popular novel. Control and Subversion investigates the relationship of gender to the inner workings of social control, such as exposing ways in which Tajik society threatens mens masculinity, thereby bringing them to force family members into conformity, irrespective of the suffering this may cause. It examines how masculine and feminine gender characteristics influence personal relationships and explores gender relations at their most intimate - from the secret musings of adolescent girls, through the painful experiences of young men, to the trauma of sexual initiation. Although largely concentrating on contemporary life, the book also discusses historical materials and Soviet influence on Tajik society. Control and Subversion is essential reading for anyone interested in Central Asia, Muslim societies, the lives of Muslim women, or gender in a Muslim context.
Explores gender relations in Muslim societies, using post-Soviet Tajikistan as a central case-study.
About the Author
Colette Harris is a researcher specialising in gender and development, with particular interests in family relations, sexuality and domestic violence. She is currently program director, women in international development at the Office of International Research, Education and Development of Virginia Tech University in the States.
Table of Contents
Technical Information and Terminology
Introduction: The Research Setting and Methodology
1. Conceptual Background
2. The Bolsheviks Attack but the Tajiks Resist
3. Community Control
4. Inter-Generational Family Control
5. The Individual Unmasked
6. The Couple Relationship: Love, Sex and Marriage
7. Control and Subversion
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