13. Gender

In this class we read chapter 7, “Gender” (181-207). We do Sexuality in the next class.

Gender Discussion Option 1

For the discussion comments, I’m borrowing an assignment from the Essentials of Cultural Anthropology Online Resources:

Cultural norms are often encoded in the clothing that we wear. Simply from the clothes people are wearing, you can often tell where they are from, their religious beliefs, and even their profession. For this exercise, you should first explore the relationship between cultural norms and clothing, and then you should consider what these norms reveal about gender and power.

In order to do this, think back to your days in high school. Did your high school have a dress code? What were you allowed to wear? What could you not wear? Now think about whether there were more rules for boys to follow or more rules for girls to follow. Why did the school insist on these rules?
. . .
Why do high schools insist on dress codes? Why are the rules different for boys and girls? And, most importantly, how do the differences in rules for boys and girls reflect the dynamics of gender and power in contemporary American culture?

Please reflect below. Note that you don’t need to answer each question but simply use the questions as a jumping-off point for focusing your own thoughts. And please do reference the chapter in your comments!

Alternative Gender Discussion

The image for this post is taken from Anthropologie. It is always interesting to me that what is a mostly women’s clothing store also owns www.anthropology.com (try typing that into your browser and see what happens). Has Anthropology-in-General become gendered as female? If so, how, why, and what does it mean?


Living Anthropologically means documenting history, interconnection, and power during a time of global transformation. We need to care for others as we attempt to build a world together. This blog is a personal project of Jason Antrosio, author of Fast, Easy, and In Cash: Artisan Hardship and Hope in the Global Economy. For updates, follow on Twitter, watch on YouTube, or subscribe to e-mail list.

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