Description - Ungendering Civilisation by K. Anne Pyburn
Ungendering Civilisation offers a much needed scrutiny of the role of women in the evolution of states. The contributors critically addresses traditional views of male and female roles; they argue for the possibility that the root cause of gender subordination in the modern world was the loss of kin-based power structures during early state formation, rather than 'innate' tendencies to domesticity and child-rearing in women, and leadership and aggression in men. Each of the nine papers examines a distinct body of archaeological data - from societies including Predynastic Egypt, Minoan Crete, ancient Zimbabwe and the Maya - to determine what the facts actually show. The volume also provides a useful insight into why many academics have continued to base their interpretations of early societies on apparently outdated theories. By analysing the intellectual history of categories such as race, gender, and chiefdom, the political usefulness that has maintained the popularity of such categories among western academics is exposed.
This collection shows that cultural evolutionism is not benign; it sustains political views about gender, race, and political economy that are not supported by research. The example of gender demonstrates how archaeologists, many of whom would probably characterize themselves as feminists, inadvertently support a sexist view of the world by labelling poorly tested assumptions as science.
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(234mm x 156mm x mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
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Book Reviews - Ungendering Civilisation by K. Anne Pyburn