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The Subject of Anthropology: Gender, Symbolism and Psychoanalysis
In this ambitious new book, Henrietta Moore draws on anthropology,feminism and psychoanalysis to develop an original and provocativetheory of gender and of how we become sexed beings. Arguing thatthe Oedipus complex is no longer the fulcrum of debate betweenanthropology and psychoanalysis, she demonstrates how recenttheorizing on subjectivity, agency and culture has opened up newpossibilities for rethinking the relationship between gender,sexuality and symbolism.
Using detailed ethnographic material from Africa and Melanesia toexplore the strengths and weaknesses of a range of theories inanthropology, feminism and psychoanalysis, Moore advocates anethics of engagement based on a detailed understanding of thedifferences and similarities in the ways in which local communitiesand western scholars have imaginatively deployed the power ofsexual difference. She demonstrates the importance of ethnographiclistening, of focused attention to people's imaginations, and ofhow this illuminates different facets of complex theoretical issuesand human conundrums.
Written not just for professional scholars and for students but foranyone with a serious interest in how gender and sexuality areconceptualized and experienced, this book is the most powerful andpersuasive assessment to date of what anthropology has tocontribute to these debates now and in the future.read more