Beyond the Second Sex: New Directions in the Anthropology of Gender

By Peggy Reeves Sanday; Ruth Gallagher Goodenough | Go to book overview

Maria Lepowsky


7 Gender in an Egalitarian Society: A Case Study from the Coral Sea

Male dominance has been described as universal in human societies by many influential writers on gender, sex roles, and the status of women in cross-cultural perspective (for example, Beauvoir 1953; Rosaldo 1974, 1980; Ortner 1974; Ortner and Whitehead 1981). Such a universality implies that female subordination either results directly from human biology or is inherent in human cultures due to the constraints of human biology, and therefore perhaps unchangeable.

The independent nation of Papua New Guinea, the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, contains over 700 different linguistic and cultural groups. They, and other Melanesian societies, have frequently been described by anthropologists as egalitarian because almost all lack chiefs, nobles, or systems of ascribed rank, unlike the societies of the Polynesian culture area to the east. But, without specifying that they were writing about only half the society being observed, most anthropologists have described egalitarian social relations among men and not between men and women. Many of the cultures in the interior of New Guinea are well known for their strong ideologies of male dominance and beliefs in the polluting qualities of women (for example, Meggitt 1964; Brown and Buchbinder 1976; Poole 1981; Meigs, this volume). Yet New Guinea is also known for the great diversity of gender role patterns found in its many distinctive cultures (for example, Mead 1935).

Vanatinai, a small, remote island southeast of the main island of New Guinea, has its own language and culture and had never previously been studied by an anthropologist. Vanatinai is a sexually egalitarian society. There is no ethic of male dominance, the roles and activities of women and men overlap considerably, and the actions of both sexes are considered equally valuable. This overlap extends to the most important arena for the acquisition of personal prestige and influence over others, the traditional exchange and the mortuary ritual complex, in which both women and men

-171-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Beyond the Second Sex: New Directions in the Anthropology of Gender
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 352

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.