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The gender of space1

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A systematic review of studies on space and on gender in general anthropology, sociology, architecture and other related social science fields allows us to distinguish four different types of approaches. Studies on gender, space, on gender and space (including gendered space), and the gender of space. Unlike genderized space, where biologically determined gender is a factor, gender of space is a symbolic genderization of space wherein three levels may be distinguished: 1) imagery, 2) iconography, 3) choreography. Gender of space is here illustrated by a rather unique case of a rich, behaviorally-relevant genderization of space in the Andes, where not only time and space and landscape are genderized, but also agricultural fields, village space, living space, and sacrificial space. Deriving from genderized agricultural space, people and people's offices are also genderized. Data are reported on ten different symbolic genders of people, all highly relevant (and sanctioned in case of deviation) in everyday behavior and in religious ritual. Thus, genderized space-deduced symbolic human gender creates a highly complicated choreography in a multitude of further genderized spaces.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Head, Department of Cultural Anthropology, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany

Publication date: 2003-08-01

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