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Challenging the received orthodoxies of social anthropology, Ifi Amadiume argues that in precolonial society, sex and gender did not necessarily coincide. Examining the structures that enabled women to achieve power, she shows that roles were neither rigidly masculinized nor feminized. Economic changes in colonial times undermined women's status and reduced their political role and Dr Amadiume maintains, patriarchal tendencies introduced by colonialism persist today, to the detriment of women. Critical of the chauvinist stereotypes established by colonial anthropology, the author stresses the importance of recognizing women's economic activities as an essential basis of their power. She is also critical of those western feminists who, when relating to African women, tend to accept the same outmoded projections.
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Ifi Amadiume is a award-winning poet and a political activist as well as an academic. She has lived in Nigeria and the UK and is currently associate professor at Dartmouth College, Hanover. There, she teaches in both the Department of Religion and the African-American Studies Programme. Professor Amadiume is author of the influential Male Daughters, Female Husbands (Zed Books, 1988) which won the Choice Outstanding Academic Book of the Year award in 1989.Review:
Required reading in a cross-cultural women's studies course... A book well researched, clearly written, with a good bibliography, and efficiently produced one that can be depended upon to provoke lively discussion. - Choice Magazine Essential reading for anyone interested in fundamental thinking about the issues of gender and sex in pre-colonial societies - Guardian, Nigeria Ifi Amadiume, a Nigerian sociologist, has stepped out of the academic sidelines to tackle head on the issue of racist social anthropology - Africa Events This is a text that should be read widely and includes women's studies, social sciences and history. It will surely be an important statement in the catalogue of anti-colonialist historiography - West Africa Meticulously researched... An extremely important contribution - Africa
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Book Description Zed Books, 1987. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0862325943