Why does a Trobriand chief need to be generous? How is chiefly generosity expressed, and why is having many wives important to a chiefs political position?

political science


Why does a Trobriand chief need to be generous? How is chiefly generosity expressed, and why is having many wives important to a chiefs political position? How has Trobriand ethnography challenged the Western theoretical division of social space and activities into gendered public and domestic domains? Describe the model of public and domestic domains in Western social theory. How are these domains gendered and what implications does their gendering have for power relations between men and women? Give and discuss at least two concrete ethnographic examples from the Trobriand Islands that show the limitations of the gendered domain model and its conceptualization of the “political”. Anthropological theory first emerged in the context of Western European colonialism. Give specific examples indicating how anthropological theory in the 19th and 20th centuries legitimated or disguised colonialism. Discuss capitalist discipline as a form of power. What does Aihwa Ong mean by “power”? How is capitalist discipline used in factories in Malaysian free trade zones to transform young peasant women into efficient industrial workers? How do these forms of discipline differ from those operating in the village, and what tensions do the differences between discipline in the village and the factory produce for women workers themselves? Discuss the issues of bio-politics and economic interests in the context of computer microchip production in the Third World. What economic reasons do anthropologists and other social theorists offer for the preference of multinational corporations to hire single young women for microchip assembly? How are power relations between wealthy industrialists and Malaysian women factory workers naturalized? Discuss Malay villager gender constructs and how they organize power relations between men and women. How does gender organize the hierarchy of authority within the village? How does microchip factory management take advantage of these constructs to obtain worker compliance with corporate goals? How do women workers use these same beliefs to express resistance to the forms of discipline to which they are subjected in the factory? Aihwa Ong argues that spirit possession of Malaysian female factory workers is a form of resistance against disciplinary control. How does the social and political position of the women factory workerso affect forms of resistance they employ? How effective are these forms of resistance in changing the structures of power and forms of discipline to which women in Malaysia are subjected?

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