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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender-role perceptions in the Akan folktale
Author:Opoku-Agyemang, Naana JaneISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:gender relations
folk tales
Cultural Roles
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v030/30.1agyemang.pdf
Abstract:The vital role that the folktale plays in the process of socialization in society has been recognized by many critics. This paper discusses how expectations and attitudes concerning roles and behaviour appropriate for a particular gender can be fathomed in the Akan folktale (Ghana), a powerful verbal and dramatic art form, in the process of transmitting the norms of a largely nonliterate culture. The central argument is that the values that are transmitted in a setting that blurs class and gender distinctions, where both narrator and listener improvise and shape the total outcome of the tale, nevertheless have their clear ideological angles. The values enforce a way of seeing that is anchored on gender lines and in a manner that generally purports to create balance between the genders; however, the Akan folktale also has the potential to obstruct pathways to change and transformation, more specifically for the female gender. This paper illustrates this hypothesis by focusing on five interrelated areas: marriage, parenthood, work, self-worth, and authority. Bibliogr.