Thinking of gender in a holistic sense: understandings of gender in Sulawesi, Indonesia

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Based on eighteen-months of fieldwork in Sulawesi, Indonesia, this paper advances two arguments concerning gender. First, it contends that gender is a concept of great significance in Sulawesi. Unlike some observers who have undervalued the centrality of gender in the region by asserting that factors such as social status are more salient in daily life than gender, this paper argues that gender actually underscores other factors such as status considerations. The second argument the paper advances is that gender in Sulawesi is a holist concept resulting from various compositions of biology, subjectivity, sexuality, performativity, and ideology. A multitude of amalgamations are possible and so gendered identities transcend binary constructions. As such, Sulawesi acknowledges a variety of gendered identities. Using ethnographic data to examine how these various aspects contribute to an individual's gender identity, this paper reveals the importance of gender in Sulawesi, and introduces a holistic way of thinking of gender.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGender and the Local-Global Nexus
Subtitle of host publicationTheory, Research, and Action
EditorsVasilikie Demos, Marcia Segal
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
Number of pages24
ISBN (Print)0762313129, 9780762313129
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2006

Publication series

NameAdvances in Gender Research
ISSN (Print)1529-2126

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