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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gender Ideology and Practice in Mande Societies and in Mande Studies
Author:Hoffman, Barbara G.
Periodical:Mande Studies
Geographic term:Mali
Subjects:gender relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
Status of Women
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/44093481
Abstract:There is no question that male dominance exists in all Mande societies. But what do we mean by the term? Where is it an englobing phenomenon? Where is it limited and perhaps even counterbalanced with domains of women's power and authority? This discussion of theoretical issues involved in distinguishing and analysing gender ideology examines issues of male dominance and female power in the blended Mande societies of urban Bamako (Mali). It is based on fieldwork conducted in the mid-1980s and 1999-2001 and uses verbal forms such as proverbs, folktales and myths that offer evidence of gender ideology. The focus of the research - the relationship between social status and language use - and the methodology used (experiential, including apprenticeship as a griot) lends insight into the complexities of Mande notions of hierarchy, complementarity, and division of labour across a range of social statuses, including caste, age and gender. Through the analysis of data presented here, P.R. Sanday's (1981) proposal of ideological male dominance as 'mythical' appears to apply to Mande society. Examination of the evidence draws into question the pervasiveness of male dominance in Mande cultures and offers a more complex interpretation of what constitutes evidence thereof. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]