As part of the Case Studies in Cultural Anthropology series, edited by George Spindler and Janice E. Stockard, Sharyn Graham brings us CHALLENGING GENDER NORMS: THE FIVE GENDERS OF INDONESIA. This case study explores the Bugis ethnic group, native to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, that recognizes five gender categories rather than the two acknowledged in most societies. The Bugis acknowledge three sexes (female, male, hermaphrodite), four genders (women, men, calabai, and calalai), and a fifth meta-gender group, the bissu.
This ethnography presents individuals' stories, opinions and deliberations, grounding discussions of how gendered identities are constructed in a rapidly changing cultural milieu. The rich ethnographic material contained in this book challenges two types of Western theory - queer theory, which tends to focus on sexuality, and feminist theory, which tends to focus on social gender enactment. Neither theory is well-equipped for articulating the complexities of multiple gender identities and a multifarious gender system. By unraveling social negotiations and examining both individual embodiment and the impact of global forces on localized identities, the book proposes a new theory of gender which incorporates appreciation of variously gendered subjectivities.
Table of Contents
1. Conceptualizing Gender.
2. The Importance of Being Gendered.
3. Hunting Down Love: Female Transgendering.
4. Contesting Masculinity and Negotiating Femininity.
5. Androgynous Shamans and Rituals of Gender.
6. I Do, I Do: A Journey Through Two Indonesian Weddings.
Conclusion: Rethinking Gender.