Synopses & Reviews
Making Gender both critiques and builds upon recent anthropological theory. Scholars such as Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony Giddens, and Marshall Sahlins have explored the dialectic between how we shape culture and how culture shapes us in a framework known as "practice theory". Ortner argues that these scholars omit crucial questions raised elsewhere, in the area of feminist theory - questions about the multiple forms of power and resistance; the forms and degrees of "agency"; the relationship of the private and intimate to large-scale structural change; and the nature of identity in a world carved up by race, ethnicity, class, and gender. Together - these essays present a new model of cultural practice that posits "embedded agency" - the ways people act within cultural contexts to change those very contexts. Rich in theoretical insights and ethnographic examples, Making Gender is a stimulating synthesis of feminist anthropology by one of its founders and foremost theorists.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-254) and index.