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ANTH 1A (11)
Lecture 10

ANTH 1A Lecture 10: Final Review 1

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Anjaria Ulka

Modesty, agency and veiling: ● Modesty is seen as a means of demonstrating control of normal passions and the taming of the uncontrollable ● Hiding one’s sexuality shows self mastery ○ Acceptable way to do this is to channel into poems ● The higher the class, the more veiling women are expected to have, because the more honor is seen as being at stake ● Women who work as street vendors saw wearing a burqa as “aspirational” ○ Don’t have the luxury to remove and protect yourself from society like that ● Eurocentric myth: modesty equates docility ○ Allows women freedom of movement and observation in public spaces, so they don’t have to remain in the home Sources of honor in Bedouin society: ● Honor is central to sense of self ● Sources of honor: independence and autonomy for the collective ○ Sense of identity as resisting the Egyptian state ● Demonstrating self control through modesty, because it is the taming of the uncontrollable ○ Moral worth is connected to one’s relationship to natural passions and functions ● Sexuality is understood as something good, but powerful and must be contained ● Expressing emotions as poetry is honorable because it shows self-mastery and persuasion ● The higher the class, the more veiling women are expected to have, because the more honor is seen as being at stake Ghinnawa poetry: ● Not “folklore” or high art ● Allows women to have an outlet for their emotions where they can be a) expressed b) validated ○ Fayga’s brother-in-law recognized her unhappiness was genuine and not just dramatic through her poems ● Helps them to navigate complex codes to retain agency ● Constant friction between love and conservativeness ● Culturally appropriate way of communicating transgressive sentiments ● Allows women to bond in their private spaces ● Retains a semblance of anonymity since context is required to understand who said what ○ Which is why Lila was scolded for sharing who told her the poetry she had repeated ● Formal structure frames it as a universal experience Bedouin ideology of kinship: ● Kinship: system of meaning that people created to determine who’s related to whom and to define mutual expectations, rights, and responsibilities ● Patrilineal parallel cousin marriages encouraged ○ Keeps women within the same tribe and a man knows if he marries a woman from his family, she will have the same priorities and concerns as he does ○ Arranged marriages focus on the continuation of the kinship group; marriage is a symbol of commitment to the larger group ■ Love and intimacy come after marriage ● Worth is related to the honor of the bloodline ● Honor is related to moral qualities, like the relations between the sexes which is what creates such a large emphasis on modesty ● Kinship terms can reflect attitudes toward relations ○ Ex. in America, kin terms only describe generation and gender. Bedouin kinship terms also reflect which side of the fam
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