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Locating and Dislocating Gender in Rural Zimbabwe: the making of space and the texturing of bodies

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In this article the author analyses some of the key discourses and practices that locate the meanings of gender in contemporary rural Zimbabwe and maps their strategic reproduction throughout a century of upheaval and change. In so doing, the author attempts to make several original contributions to an already well-developed literature: he analyses the hitherto largely neglected spatial dimensions of gender relations in this context, argues that the social construction of space and of gendered bodies is interlinked in this region, reinterprets many of the established accounts of corporeality in this context, and develops a Foucauldian inspired notion of power and patriarchy to help explain the constitution of space, bodies and gender relations in this particular arena. The author's detailed empirical analysis of a specific case is of interest to regional specialists but also has broader appeal as an example of the utility of contemporary theory to the investigation of developing world contexts . In attempting to describe the ways in which gender is located in material and discursive space in this context, the author's purpose is to assist those engaged in contemporary feminist struggles in Zimbabwe to ask questions about how gender might be dislocated from these geographical foundations.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 1999

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