Gender And Prestige

.. important. A family consist of consanguineally related women, women having the same ancestor, and young boys. Grown up boys live in the Men’s house. Men, most of their time, live in flute chamber and men’s house, where women live in houses and prepare food in farinha shed.

Only when it comes to biological reproduction, men go in the houses. Men do their rituals in the flute chamber, where it is secret and no woman can enter. The farinha shed and men’s house are important because of the economic activity conducted in them. The houses don’t have much of the importance because women’s ability to give birth is not considered to be unique. In men’s rituals they show that men can reproduce without women, equalizing the capacities of men and women, so that women would not be important.

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So as we see, economic, kinship, and religion systems are interrelated with the prestige system imbedded in each one of them. The fourth culture we consider differs from the previous three. The !Kung San society located in Kalahari Desert has egalitarian ideology. There is no superiority of one gender over another. The prestige system in this society is based on the prestige of the male hunter and female as sexual object.

The prestige system is embedded in kinship, economic, and political systems of !Kung San. !Kung San society is the society of a band type of social organization. The characteristic detail of bands is the existence of the brideservice. Brideservice is a transfer of wealth to the bride’s family in terms of labor. So every groom is responsible to hunt not only for his family, his wife, but also for the bride’s family.

Even in case if bride dies, groom would still hunt for her family until he gets married again. This fact shows that women are valued in this society. Embeddedness of prestige system in religion is shown by the ritual performed by both genders. Every boy, before marrying has to go through two rituals: one is hunting and killing a male animal, and second one is killing a female animal. Only boy who went through this two rituals would be permitted to get married.

Bride’s family looks at a potential husband as at the man who can hunt and provide for the family and children. On the other hand, women are not hunters and considered to not have any skills for it. Their rituals are to show their beauty and present themselves are sexual objects for men. Most of grooms in !Kung San do not look at their wives as on potential mothers but rather as sexual objects and express concern that a wife should be pretty. The following two examples of resolution of disagreement show the embeddedness of prestige system in the political system. In !Kung San there are not courts where people would go and resolve the disagreements.

The only way for them to do it is by removing causes of disagreement. In one instance man found out that his wife commits adultery and started to sharpen his arrows to kill them both, but headman of the band convinced wife to return back home and prevented possible fatality. In another instance, two women stopped the fight by holding one of the fighters from fighting. This examples show that both, men and women, can resolve disagreements and that both are valued equally. In !Kung San men admit that they do not have sexual power, nor they have the reproductive ability.

That is why there is a balance in value of men and women, where men are seen as nurturers and care takers, and women are seen as sex objects and reproducing agents. The prestige system is supported by ideology. In the discussed examples, the four cultures belong to four different types of social organization and have different ideologies and, therefore, different prestige systems. But all of the cultures share the same fact that prestige system does not exist by itself. Prestige system in each culture is embedded in many subsystems such as political, economic, kinship, religion and some other, and we saw it in Andalusia, !Kung San, Polynesia, and Mundurucu.

Moreover, when we defined the prestige system, we mentioned that there are sources of prestige. To name some of them: wealth, power, social connections. Wealth is relates to economic factor, power relates to politics, and social connections is the kinship. So the prestige system, besides been embedded into the subsystems, is also supported by them. Effects of Gender in Prestige Systems BIBLIOGRAPHY -Ortner, Sherry B. (1996).

Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture. Boston: Beacon Press -“The prestige systems in Polynesia is the system of hereditary ranking which is embedded in political system, kinship system, and economic system” -“Every village, that is the part of the chiefdom, has a goal to get on the top of the symbolic pyramid, with main chief and fono, the governing council, on the top” -“The economic system in the Polynesia is based on the redistribution exchange mode.” -Roosevelt, Anna (1994). Amazonian Indians from Prehistory to the Present: Anthropological Perspectives. Tucson: University of Arizona Press -‘This is the culture of the village social organization, with male hierarchy. It’s located in Amazonia, near Brazil between the Cururu river and the Das Tropas river. The prestige in this culture is based on the men hierarchy and is embedded in religion, economic, and kinship systems.” – “The prestige system is embedded in religion.

Myths of this culture are the great example of it.” -Brandes, Stanley (1980). Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore. University of Pennsylvania Press – “More, specifically, we look at one of the parts of Andalusia, called San Blas, located in southeastern Spain with population of about eight thousand people.” -“In this society, the prestige system is embedded in sexual morality and religion.” -“The people of San Blas leave in the state social organization, characterized by the high male hierarchy. In this culture the males sexual ideology is based on belief that females are the once with the power and that they are dangerous to males.” -Lee, Richard B. ( 1976). Kalahari Hunter Gatherers: Studies of the !Kung San and Their Neighbors.

Cambridge: Harvard University Press – “There is no superiority of one gender over another. The prestige system in this society is based on the prestige of the male hunter and female as sexual object” – “The prestige system is embedded in kinship, economic, and political systems of !Kung San. !Kung San society is the society of a band type of social organization.” -Lee, Richard B. (1979). The !Kung San: Men and Women, and Work in a Foraging society.

New York: Cambridge Press Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY -Ortner, Sherry B. (1996). Making Gender: The Politics and Erotics of Culture. Boston: Beacon Press -“The prestige systems in Polynesia is the system of hereditary ranking which is embedded in political system, kinship system, and economic system” -“Every village, that is the part of the chiefdom, has a goal to get on the top of the symbolic pyramid, with main chief and fono, the governing council, on the top” -“The economic system in the Polynesia is based on the redistribution exchange mode.” -Roosevelt, Anna (1994). Amazonian Indians from Prehistory to the Present: Anthropological Perspectives. Tucson: University of Arizona Press -‘This is the culture of the village social organization, with male hierarchy.

It’s located in Amazonia, near Brazil between the Cururu river and the Das Tropas river. The prestige in this culture is based on the men hierarchy and is embedded in religion, economic, and kinship systems.” – “The prestige system is embedded in religion. Myths of this culture are the great example of it.” -Brandes, Stanley (1980). Metaphors of Masculinity: Sex and Status in Andalusian Folklore. University of Pennsylvania Press – “More, specifically, we look at one of the parts of Andalusia, called San Blas, located in southeastern Spain with population of about eight thousand people.” -“In this society, the prestige system is embedded in sexual morality and religion.” -“The people of San Blas leave in the state social organization, characterized by the high male hierarchy. In this culture the males sexual ideology is based on belief that females are the once with the power and that they are dangerous to males.” -Lee, Richard B.

( 1976). Kalahari Hunter Gatherers: Studies of the !Kung San and Their Neighbors. Cambridge: Harvard University Press – “There is no superiority of one gender over another. The prestige system in this society is based on the prestige of the male hunter and female as sexual object” – “The prestige system is embedded in kinship, economic, and political systems of !Kung San. !Kung San society is the society of a band type of social organization.” -Lee, Richard B. (1979).

The !Kung San: Men and Women, and Work in a Foraging society. New York: Cambridge Press Anthropology.