Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective: 6th Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective

6th Edition

By Caroline B. Brettell, Carolyn F. Sargent


478 pages

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Paperback: 9780205247288
pub: 2012-07-25
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Introduces students to the most significant topics in anthropology of gender.

Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective is a one-volume reader built on classic contributions to gender and anthropology, incorporating recent literature on gender roles and ideology around the world.

It combines theoretically and ethnographically-based essays and is appropriate for undergraduate and beginning graduate students.

Learning Goals

Upon completing this book readers will be able to:

Name the most significant topics in anthropology of gender

Discuss the questions raised by the authors in each section

Understand issues of gender in industrial society and developing societies

Table of Contents



About the Authors

I. Biology, Gender, and Human Evolution

II. Gender and Prehistory

III. Domestic Worlds and Public Worlds

IV. Equality and Inequality: The Sexual Division of Labor and Gender

V. The Cultural Construction of Gender and Personhood

VI. Culture, Sexuality, and the Body

VII. Gender, Property, and the State

VIII. Gender, Household, and Kinship

IX. Gender, Ritual, and Religion

X. Gender, Politics, and Reproduction

XI. Gender and the Global Economy

About the Authors

Caroline Brettell received her B.A. degree from Yale University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Brown University. She joined the faculty of the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University in 1988, and in 2008 was named University Distinguished Professor. From 1989 to 1994, she served as Director of Women’s Studies, and from 1994 to 2004 she served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology. From 2006 to 2008, she served as Interim Dean of Dedman College, the Humanities and Sciences College at Southern Methodist University. Her research interests are in the areas of immigration, gender roles, European ethnography, and anthropology and history. She is the author of Men Who Migrate, Women Who Wait: Population and History in a Portuguese Parish (1986), We Have Already Cried Many Tears: The Stories of Three Portuguese Migrant Women (1982, 1995), Writing against the Wind: A Mother’s Life History (1999), and Anthropology and Migration: Essays on Transnationalism, Ethnicity and Identity (2003); coauthor with Richard Brettell of Painters and Peasants in the 19th Century (1983); editor of When They Read What We Write: The Politics of Ethnography (1993) and Constructing Borders/Crossing Boundaries: Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration (2007); coeditor of International Migration: The Female Experience (1986), Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Prentice Hall 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005), Gender and Health: An International Perspective (1996), Migration Theory: Talking Across Disciplines (2000, 2007), Citizenship, Political Engagement, and Belonging: Immigrants in Europe and the U.S (2008), and America’s Twenty-First Century Immigrant Gateways: Immigrant Incorporation in Suburbia (2008). Her most recent book, co-authored with Deborah Reed-Danahay is titled Civic Engagements: The Citizenship Practices of Indian and Vietnamese Immigrants (2012). She is also the author of numerous book chapters, and articles. Professor Brettell has served as a member of National Institutes of Health (NIH) Study Section-SNEM 3 and several selection panels for the Social Science Research Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). She has served as President of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe and of the Social Science History Association. She has conducted field research in France, Portugal, and Canada and is currently engaged in a long-term study of new immigrants into the Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area with funding from the National Science Foundation and the Russell Sage Foundation.

Carolyn Sargent received her B.A. degree from Michigan State University, her M.A. degree from the University of Manchester, and her Ph.D. from Michigan State University. She is Professor of Anthropology and Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. From 1979 to 2008, she served as Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University, where she was Director of Women’s Studies from 1994 through 2007. She is currently a research fellow at IRIS, an interdisciplinary social science laboratory associated with the University of Paris 13, CNRS, EHESS, and INSERM. Her research interests are in the areas of global health, gender and reproduction, and bioethics. Sargent is the author of The Cultural Context of Therapeutic Choice: Obstetrical Decisions among the Bariba of Benin (1982), and Maternity, Medicine and Power: Reproductive Decisions in Urban Benin (1989); and coeditor of Reproduction, Globalization and the State (Duke University Press 2011); Medical Anthropology: A Handbook of Theory and Method, Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective (Prentice Hall 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005), Gender and Health: An International Perspective (1996), Childbirth and Authoritative Knowledge (1997), and Small Wars: The Cultural Politics of Childhood (1998). In addition to several book chapters, she has also authored numerous articles, many of them published in Medical Anthropological Quarterly and Social Science and Medicine. She has conducted fieldwork in West Africa and the Caribbean and is currently engaged in a long-term study of West African immigrants in France funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation and the National Science Foundation. She has served on a Senior Advisory Panel of the National Science Foundation and on the Executive Board for the Society for Medical Anthropology. In 2007 she assumed the role of President of the SMA. She has also served on the French Agence Nationale de la Recherche as external reviewer for social science research.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural