Gendering Culture: Towards a Plural Perspective on Kwena Women's Rights

Anne Griffiths

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

This chapter adopts a gendered perspective on rights and culture which highlights how women and men negotiate their procreative relationships and the claims that arise from this in daily life in Botswana. Based on research carried out in the village of Molepolole between 1982 and 1989, it is a local-level ethnographic study focused on the concrete and specific ways in which gender frames the relations of power up on which negotiations concerning family relationships among Bakwena are founded, through social actors' perspectives and experiences. It thus is aligned with the shift from conceptions of ‘culture’ as representing a static, homogenous, coherent unity to a view of culture as practice, embedded in local contexts and in the multiple realities of everyday life (Bourdieu 1977; Sahlins 1976; Strathern 1980). This framework, which conceives of culture as an ongoing process, allows us to acknowledge heterogeneity in the social and legal practices shaping people's worlds and their relationship with rights (see Merry, in this volume). We may then bring together for consideration culture, rights and law in ways that undermine simple dichotomies between rights and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCulture and Rights
Subtitle of host publicationAnthropological Perspectives
EditorsJane K Cowan, Marie-Benedicte Dembour, Richard A Wilson
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages102-26
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780511804687
ISBN (Print)0521797357, 9780521797351
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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