Feminist anthropologists focused on male and female personality differences taken from
Questions about gender identity contributed to understanding in their relation to ethnic
and social identity.
Psychoanalytic anthropology- Freud
Linked primitive and civilized processes to male and female childrens development
Civilized mind- differs from primitive in terms of whats conscious and unconscious
Argued that the mind of the civilized western Europeans was like the primitives at
Civilized people repressed certain behaviors and ideas over time, still observed in
Found among western and non western cultures. John McLennan defines as a region in
which primitive people worship plant or animal as a god.
Incest taboo- rule requiring sexual relations to occur outside biological family.
Freud suggests Primal Horde memory that everyone replays during psychological
2 Psych developmental processes- Oedipus complex, Electra complex
Women are confined to domestic sphere of nurturing babies and caring for household,
because they are seen as naturally inferior
Woman are naturally dependent and passive/masochistic and vein; try to compensate by
making themselves beautiful and desirable in other ways.
Margaret Mead- Understanding differences between male and female personalities/
work reveals male and female personalities vary across culture
Book sex and temperament discusses 3 societies in which males and females compare
themselves during childhood.
• NOT culturally universal for women to be nurturing and males to be aggressive.
Gender personality types: culturally constructed, not biologically determined.
Feminists do not depend on freud’s androcentric and superiority assumptions. Personality and development is a result of relational experiences developed in infancy
which become generalized as one grows up
Mother will become closer to her daughter by pushing her son away
Boy becomes more differentiated from mother than does girl
Boys must identify with a distant father helps develop
Identity- how an individual views themselves in relation to others
Gender identity- how one perceives themselves in relation to being male or female.
Other societies do not agree with conformities
Third gender categories apply to others
Compromise- Remove clause about gender identity; protected from discrimination based on
sexuality. Legislative Bargain: Civil rights activists.
Identity politics: allows large change to be enacted by minority groups.
Women bear the brunt in identity movements; perceived as signifying tradition, aren’t
allotted benefits of modern society.
Subjectivity: Conscious thoughts/feelings of person; how they identify themselves.
Aperson or subject has multiple identifications of themselves; Focoult: effect of power.
Subjects an entity that can act and be responsible for its actions, oppressed by dominant
Intrepellation- process where people recognize they belong to a certain identity.
Discourse- System of knowledge: described by Foucault peoples sense of who they are
‘regimes of truth’
Judith Butler- Gender is something that people do.Argues that a subject is created
because of certain societal norms of what it means to be a specific gender.
EX: Girls putting on makeup= soc