The Performance of Gender presents a vivid description of everyday life in order to explore the concept of performance for an anthropology of gender. A detailed and evocotive account of the lives of men and women in a South Indian fishing community reveals new ways of framing gender relations, the body and kinship. The ethnographic account is set within the context of social and cultural theory, notably the ideas of Judith Butler, Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault. The study sheds new light on the ways in which gender is understood as both performative, that is enacted through everyday practices, and also substantial and embodied, that is marked out in the separate sexual fluids and procreative capacities of husbands and wives.
Table of Contents
CONTENTS List of Figures vii Acknowledgements ix Preface xiii Introduction 1 Part I: The Marking of Difference 1 Men and boys: the lives of the fishermen 27 2 Women, money and markets 53 3 Gender, body and the tracing of relatedness 72 Part II: The Merging of Difference 4 Becoming husband and wife 91 5 Loans and goods: flows and exchanges between households 113 6 Eating from one plate: gender, exchange and spouses 149 Part III: Disputes and Negotiations 7 Gender and money: the saving and spending of household wealth 177 8 Conflict and Violence 195 9 Conclusions 215 Notes 232 Bibliography 245 Index 253
Cecilia Busby is Lecturer in Anthropology at Goldsmiths College.