PH.D. T.B.Shchepanskaya. Gender Anthropology

(Subcultures & Gender trajectories)

Within the framework of a course the variation of gender stereotypes in a modern multicultural society is examined. On the basis of the data from Urban Anthropology the analysis of gender installations, symbols and roles in different subcultures will be carried out: by a children, youth (hip-, punk-, football fans' cultures, some extremist and nationalistic youth communities), culture of the mothers, gays and lesbians, nudists, in criminal and army subcultures, and also in some professional communities. The base of the course are the extensive and little-known materials of field researches, including authors', spilling new light on a problem of a variation of gender roles and installations in urbanistic multicultural society.

The following problems are mentioned:

It is offered to the students not only to familiarize with existing researches, but also to take part in their discussion and realization (lecture rate is complemented by a practical work, during which the students should independently collect an original field material in different subcultural communities at their choice). The practical occupations will be carried out: deconstruction of basic gender concepts and stereotypes by a method " of brain storm ".

At preparation of a rate author leans(bases) on:

  1. Own field researches (on the female, youth, children's, army subcultures), partly reflected in the publications (see further in the Appendix).
  2. Research work within the framework of the research projects " Modern urban folk culture " (hands. S.Y.Nekludov, Moscow, Russian State Humanitarin University, and A.F.Belousov, S.-Petersburg) and " Youth movements and subcultures of S.-Petersburg" (hands. V.V.Kostiushev, Institite of Sociology of Russian Academy of Sciences), maintained by Soros Fundation) in 1998-1999 ãã. Within the framework of both projects the regular seminars and sessions were carried out(spent), where the newest researches of modern urban subcultures in Russia were submitted.
  3. Materials of a seminar " Female culture and ethnography " (Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and ethnography of Russian Academy of Sciences) which active participant and one of two co-organizers the author was during all years of its work (1995-98 ãã.).
The thematic plan.
  1. Gender factors of formation education of subcultures.
Gender stereotypes: sociocultural variation. "Fan" of roles. Gender variation as the factor of sociocultural differentiation. Zones of reproductive isolation as the basis of formation of subcultures (examples from child, youth, closed - prison, army - communities). A problem of social regulation of bodily activities. Body, power relations and structures of management.

2. Gender stereotypes in children's culture.

Gender socialization: institutional and informal aspects. Sexual differentiation of children's culture. The boyish and maiden game communities: division and interaction. Gender stereotypes in school folklore. Humorous folklore, fears and intimidations in boyish folklore. Maiden culture of albums: formation of gender stereotypes.

3. Youth culture: cult and overcoming of unisexuality.

4. Gender stereotypes and strategies of behavior in computer community.

Acquaintance through computer networks. Gender symbols and identification marks. Travesties and sexual mystification in the culture of net communication. Receptions of gender identity. Sex in networks. From virtual to real acquaintance. Virtual love and weddings in computer folklore. Gender stereotypes and symbolic in professional folklore of the programmers.

5. Gay and lesbian cultures; nudists.

Subcultures and communities (club, friendly, literary circles and societies etc.) of gays, lesbians, nudists in St.-Petersburg. Symbolism in behavior and attributes. Stereotypes of behavior and rituals. Culture of a body and communicative features. Transformation of sexual orientation in sociocultural identity.

6. Subculture of Maternity: blocking of authority.

The woman in a zone of influence of institute of birthprotecting: medical paternalism and institutional power. Sociocultural mechanisms of authority. Female culture: tradition and modernity. Means of blocking of authority in female culture. Characteristics of parent self-consciousness. Female folklore and its social functions. "Maternal" symbolic of authority and of opposition to authority.

7. Gender stereotypes in an army life and folklore.

Army service as man's initiation. Tradition of marriage after army. Tattoo. Images of the bride and mother in army folklore. Gender self-determination. Stereotypes of masculinity. Folktales about "uvolnitelnaya" and "samovolka": motives of sexual feats. The stories about " the common girl ": practice and mythology of group sex. Army humorous folklore (gender stereotypes in jokes about the sexual soldier deceived colonel / general etc.). Mystical folklore and love lyrics.

8. Gender aspects of criminal subculture.

Cult of the mother; sex and violence (lexical association). Sexual dialogue as collection (authority); female roles in prison folklore and slang; ideology "wolf - single" and practice of the family attitudes(relations); sexuality in prison (homosexuality, autoerotism, "families" etc.). Blood or sex relationships as a matrix of self-organizing of criminal communities (thieves' families, pachany and matki, synki, bratva etc.).

9. Gender the attitudes and relations in religious communities.

Ascetic practices and regulation of the family and gender relations, in religious communities. As examples are considered least formalized, organized on a principle of amateur voluntary communities: "Hury Krishna" (part of ISKCON), satanists, some buddish and Protestant communities of St.-Petersburg.

10. Professional subcultures.

Gender symbolic in subculture and folklore of professional politicians, ethnographers, programmers, musicians, street dealers. Professional interaction and gender attitudes. An example - sphere of fine street trade. Connection between gender and power, communicative, material attitudes and relations. Legitimating of violence and self-organising of the relations of authority. Corporal collection as replacement money having overcome. Gender representation in the community of the dealers in the market. Sociocultural factors of gender oppression and discrimination.

11. Gender symbolism in political culture.

Gender symbolic and metaphors in MASS-MEDIA and political slang. Their influence on political behaviour and role in formation of political installations.


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