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Difference Revised: Gender and Transformation among the Amazonian Runa

Mezzenzana, Francesca (2017) Difference Revised: Gender and Transformation among the Amazonian Runa. Ethnos, 83 (5). pp. 909-929. ISSN 0014-1844. E-ISSN 1469-588X. (doi:10.1080/00141844.2017.1363262) (KAR id:77411)

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In this paper, I will explore how knowledge practices among the Runa of the Ecuadorian Amazon are informed by the specificity of local gender constructions. I will argue that while men learn to be ‘proper’ persons primarily through the ingestion of substances which penetrate inside their bodies and change them from the interior, women learn to become ‘proper’ Runa through imitating and reproducing specific movements. This difference in learning regimes, I argue, is based upon a priori conceptualisation of men and women as distinct kinds of beings. I argue that the Runa conceptualise as gender difference the way in which exteriority and interiority are played out in male and female persons. Unlike other Amazonian cases, women are understood by the Runa as ‘naturally’ predisposed to exteriority. This has important repercussions in the way cultural change is thought to affect women and men, especially in contrast to other Amazonian people.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/00141844.2017.1363262
Uncontrolled keywords: Gender, Amazonia, transformation, exteriority, learning
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > Social and Cultural Anthropology
Depositing User: Francesca Mezzenzana
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 09:38 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2020 14:58 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Mezzenzana, Francesca:
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