Gender in World History  book cover
3rd Edition

Gender in World History

ISBN 9781138853119
Published March 4, 2015 by Routledge
222 Pages

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Book Description

Covering societies from classical times to the twenty-first century, Gender in World History is a fascinating exploration of what happens to established ideas about men, women, and gender roles when different cultural systems come into contact. The book breaks new ground to facilitate a consistent approach to gender in a world history context.

Now in its third edition, the book has been thoroughly updated, including:

    • expanded treatment of Africa under Islamic influence
    • expanded discussion of southeast Asia
    • a new chapter on contemporary Latin America
    • representations of individual women
    • engagement with recent work on gender history and theory.

With truly global coverage, this book enables students to understand how gender roles have varied across the world and over time, and the vital role of gender in structuring social and political relationships. Providing a succinct, current overview of the history of gender throughout the world, Gender in World History remains essential reading for students of world history.

Table of Contents



Agricultural Societies

1 The Traditional Framework: Agriculture, Patriarchy, Civilizations

2 Early Contacts: Influences from cultural diversity

3 Buddhism and Chinese women

4 Islamic Standards Outside the Heartland: Changes and continuities in India and sub-Saharan Africa

5 The Chinese Influence

Conclusion of Part I: Gender and contacts in agricultural societies


New Patterns of Contact, 1500-1900

6 Europeans and Native Americans

7 Men and Women amid British Imperialism in India

8 Western influences and regional reactions: Polynesia and Africa

9 Reform movements and gender: Beyond the colonial models

Conclusion of Part II: Gender contact amid rising world trade


The Contemporary World

10 Immigration as culture contact

11 New international influences: Feminism and Marxism

12 Contact and retract: The Middle East in the contemporary era

13 Latin America: The role of contact in basic change

14 Global consumer culture: The question of impact

15 Globalization and resistance

Conclusion of Part III: Gender and contacts in modern societies


Big picture: From patriarchy to new debate: the role of contacts in the evolution of gender

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Peter N. Stearns is Provost Emeritus and Professor of History at George Mason University. He is the author of many books, including World History: The Basics, and The Industrial Revolution in World History.


"By continuing to focus on the intersections of gender and contact, the third edition of Peter Stearns’ Gender and World History provides a solid framework for students and teachers alike to understand the complexities of gender in the longue durée of world history. At the same time, it offers concrete examples of how lived experiences of men and women affect social, political and cultural relations of power the world over. This edition provides an engaging new chapter on Latin America and benefits greatly from a slightly adjusted organization and key enhancements to a number of the chapters. Stearns’ text remains a thorough and eminently accessible resource for students engaged with the themes of gender and world history."

—Elizabeth Manley, Xavier University of Louisiana