Gender and Difference in a Globalizing World: Twenty-First-Century Anthropology by Frances E. Mascia-Lees
299 pages, $55.95 list
1-57766-598-8
978-1-57766-598-4
Test Items available
Gender and Difference in a Globalizing World
Twenty-First-Century Anthropology
Mascia-Lees’ outstanding ability to synthesize complex ideas rewards readers with a text that clearly conceptualizes how differences of gender, race, class, and sexuality structure today’s globalizing world. It exposes the strengths and weaknesses of different theoretical orientations used in anthropology to study gender, difference, power, and inequality including feminist anthropology; black feminist anthropology; lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgendered theory; practice, postcolonial, symbolic, and psychological anthropology; as well as social evolutionism, sociobiology, and evolutionary psychology, among others. Mascia-Lees combines core components of these perspectives with insightful analyses and ethnographic examples to illustrate how global events and transformations have molded and continue to shape gender identities, behaviors, and expectations and produce and sustain worldwide inequalities. This exemplary treatment provides a solid background to understand complex issues and to think critically about remedying uneven degrees of privilege and experiences of oppression both within and across nations.

Useful pedagogical elements unfold and bring to life historical events, theoretical perspectives, and evolving ideas. “Global News” features topics and issues of timely and special interest; “Ethnography in Focus” presents excerpts of some of the ethnographic contexts within which gender is constructed; and “Close-Up” sections expand on chapter concepts. A “Word Portfolio” list of key terms to be mastered is at the end of each chapter.
Reviews
“I love it. Succinct yet comprehensive enough for an introductory text. Its inclusion of clear explanations of basic terms AND use of theoretical perspectives will aid differential instructing. Plus: good price for textbook.” — Ellen Walsh, Gannon University

“Our course is very focused on real-world application, so I have been very pleased with how the students can relate to the text and take the concepts outside the classroom.” — Anna Brodrecht, University of Florida

“I appreciate how the chapters begin with set goals of learning. The test items will be very useful along with the recommended reading list at the end of chapters to give students ideas for sources for end-of-semester papers.” — Alison Albright, SUNY Buffalo

“This is a real tour de force that places gender at the center of analysis as well as within anthropological theory. A fabulous job of pulling together decades of gender and feminist studies.” — Naomi M. McPherson, University of British Columbia

“This text is sterling! One of its strong suits is that the theoretical perspectives follow our theory for majors course, thus reinforcing student engagement with major schools of theory as it applies to sex and gender.” — Kathleen Saunders, Western Washington University
Table of Contents
Part I. SITUATING GENDER AND DIFFERENCE WITHIN ANTHROPOLOGY

1. Gender, Difference, and Globalization
What Is Gender? / What Is Difference? / How Are Personal Lives and Global Forces Connected? / Why Study Anthropology to Learn about Today’s Globalizing World? / What Is Globalization? / How Has Globalization Been Conceptualized? / Debates over Globalization / Globalization’s Challenges for Anthropology

2. A History of Gender and Difference
Women’s Global Activism / Some Roots of the U.S. Women’s Movement / Characterizing Feminism: Myths and Realities / The Politics of Knowledge / The Development of Feminist Anthropology in the United States / Competing Assumptions in Feminist Anthropology / Changes in Feminist Anthropology / Conclusions

3. The Politics of Anthropology
Ethnocentrism vs. Cultural Relativism / Cultural Relativism vs. Political Engagement / Human Rights, Cultural Rights, and Women’s Rights / Taking a Stand / The Postcolonial Critique of Anthropology / Power Relations in Fieldwork / Conclusions

Part II. NATURALIZING GENDER AND DIFFERENCE

4. Sex Differences: Nature and Nurture
The Nature/Nurture Debate / Human Nature vs. Woman’s Nature / The Nature of Race / Naturalizing Power / Questioning Traditional Scientific Assumptions / Science as a Cultural Activity / Conclusions

5. The Evolution of Gender and Difference
Social Evolutionism / Contemporary Evolutionary Arguments / Conclusions

Part III. POLITICAL ECONOMY AND THE PRODUCTION OF CULTURE

6. Production, Capitalism, Ideology, and the State
Gendered Labor / The Basics of Marxist Theory / Engels’ Evolutionary Account / Influence of Engels’ Theory / Rethinking Ideology / Economy as Moral Order / Conclusions

7. The Global Economy, Neoliberalism, and Labor
Neoliberalism / Racial Disparities / The Feminization of Labor / The “Ideal” Female Worker / The Transnationalization of Labor / The Global Industry of Sex Tourism and Trade / The Value of Flexibility / Disciplining Workers and Sexual Harassment / Labor Activism / Conclusions

8. Producing Culture: From Structure to Agency
Structures of the Mind: Lévi-Strauss’ Model / Ortner’s Structuralist Model of Women’s Oppression / Practice Theory / Cultural Studies / Conclusions

Part IV. THE PERSONAL AS POLITICAL

9. Embodying Politics
Changing Ideas about the Body / Controlling the Body through Force / Controlling the Body Symbolically / Experiences of the Body: Embodiment / Medicalizing the Body / Commodification and the Body Beautiful / Conclusions

10. Minding Gender and Difference
Gender and Personality / Identity / Subjectivity / Language and Power in a Globalizing World / Conclusions

11. Reproducing Gender and Difference
Traditional Anthropological Approaches / Twenty-First-Century Anthropological Approaches / Sex and Sexuality / Reproductive Politics / Views of Motherhood / Can Marriage Be Defined? / Is the Family Universal? / Conclusions

Epilogue